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Michael Fassbender was born in Germany and raised in Ireland. He makes his home in both London and L.A. Is it any wonder that he's able to disappear into any number of characters? Michael shed 30 pounds to play the lead role in a film called 'Hunger'. It re-creates - disturbingly - the last six weeks in the life of Irish hunger striker Bobby Sands. For an Irishman like Michael to play a national icon like Bobby Sands, it must be pretty intimidating.
But where Bobby Sands' life was marked by violence and death, Michael had an idyllic upbringing in the south of Ireland. Though he does remember what it felt like to travel to the north - with the army checkpoints, and soldiers carrying guns. After high school, Michael moved from Ireland to London to study acting. Before long, was a drama school dropout. But that didn't keep him from making a living as an actor, mostly small parts in British TV projects.
'Hunger' was his big break. And soon after Michael was getting calls from people like Quentin Tarantino who offered him a part in 'Inglourious Basterds'. And David Cronenberg who cast Michael in 'A Dangerous Method' -- a film that looks at the friendship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud. Not to mention Ridley Scott, who gave Michael the key role of David in 'Prometheus'. But a lot of the talk these days is about Michael's full-frontal turn in a film called 'Shame', which played at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival. It reunites him with his 'Hunger' director Steve McQueen. And lays bare some fearless questions about the nature of compulsion and sex addiction.