With recent success in films such as Inglorious Bastards and Shame, one could certainly make the argument that Michael Fassbender’s current momentum and clout would render an Oscar campaign for his role in Steven McQueen’s 12 Years a Slave superfluous. Yet, perhaps due to pressure from various sectors of the film industry, the Irishman felt the need to publicly announce his refusal to partake in such efforts of self-promotion.
A notoriously grueling and shameless (no pun intended) process, Oscar campaigning, and the feverish hype surrounding the awards track in general, has been spoken out against by many an actor. The invariably subjective nature of the selection process, in addition to the sheer amount of time and effort spent on the promotion trail, has led screen star Joaquin Phoenix (Gladiator, Walk the Line), for example, to brashly remark in an conversation with Interview, that the ceremony is “total, utter bullshit, and I don’t want to be a part of it… Pitting people against each other… it’s the stupidest thing in the whole world.”
The notion of time commitment is certainly relevant for Fassbender, who appears to have his hands full not only with his new production company’s first feature film, which is set to soon begin primary photography in New Zealand, but also his role in Marion Cotillard’s Macbeth, which will begin shooting soon thereafter. In an interview with GQ , Fassbender makes his point clear, stating, “You know, I get it. Everybody’s got to do their job. So you try and help and facilitate as best you can. But I won’t put myself through that kind of situation again.”
Despite both Phoenix and Fassbender’s presumed resolve to focus on their craft rather than the awards atmosphere surrounding it, each actor has been the recipient of his fair share of accolades. While Phoenix was nominated last year for best actor for his role in The Master, Fassbender received a Golden Globe nomination in 2011 for Shame.
And who knows. Given the wild popularity of 12 Years a Slave, which hits U.S. theaters this Friday, maybe he won’t need to life a finger.