Adapting comic book arcs to the big screen is a notoriously tough task. Just ask anybody who found the willpower to sit through all of Suicide Squad. A decent amount of movies that find inspiration from comic book characters and stories do okay though. Some better than others of course, but all in all the quality levels of comic book movies (or TV shows) could be far, far worse than what audiences are currently treated to. Case in point is both sets of the X-Men movies, one with Ian McKellen as Magneto and one with Michael Fassbender in the role. Both actors wear the helmet well in each of their film appearances, but at least one of the actors doesn’t agree with that assessment of his performance.
During a career retrospective panel at TIFF, Michael Fassbender watched a clip from one of the X-Men films in which he acted opposite James McAvoy’s Charles Xavier and told the audience,
“I don’t actually like that performance there, to be honest…I just think it’s me shouting. It’s just like…some dude shouting.”
Even if you agree with Fassbender’s thoughts about his time as the emotionally conflicted villain, don’t feel too bad for him. Apparently he is a bit masochistic when it comes to performances that aren’t up to his personal standards.
“I get off on it a little bit. It’s nice when the sort of nerves and excitement are at maximum and you get to experience it with a very passionate audience and they’re usually very honest as well, so you get the full effect, as it were.”
He sounds like a true actor’s actor there. Never satisfied. He can dislike his performance all he wants, but if somebody had to fill McKellan’s shoes there are few people who would have been better for the part.