Friday 28 July 2017

Fassbender plagued by ghosts of former Macbeths

Michael Fassbender has spoken of the pressure of playing Shakespeare's 'Macbeth' in the new movie
Michael Fassbender has spoken of the pressure of playing Shakespeare's 'Macbeth' in the new movie
Kirsty Blake Knox

Kirsty Blake Knox

Actor Michael Fassbender has spoken of the pressure of playing Shakespeare's Scottish king, Macbeth.

Fassbender takes on the titular role in Justin Kurzel's feature film adaptation and was plagued by the voices of former actors when delivering iconic soliloquys.

"When you start a line like 'Is this a dagger which I see before me', it is hard not to hear all the other actors," Fassbender said.

"All the other times come up ... but [it's important] not to dwell on it."

The Oscar-nominated actor acknowledged that the Shakespeare play was an "amazing piece" of writing to work with, adding: "You get one chance at it, and then it is down in film, and that's it."

To ensure the leading role felt "fresh", Fassbender and Kurzel developed Macbeth's backstory.

"We discovered very early on that we would be treating Macbeth as someone suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder," Fassbender explained.

"There's a certain element of psychosis there which runs right through to the banquet scenes."

Fassbender credits director Kurzel for bringing clarity to the classic text.

"I was in the fog with a lot of it," he admitted.

French actress Marion Cotillard plays Lady Macbeth in the drama, while Irish actor Jack Reynor takes on the role of Malcolm.

Reynor was quick to praise his co-star.

"Michael owns the character of Macbeth," he said.

"I think it will be difficult for people not to picture his face when they think of Macbeth after this film is released."

Macbeth was met with rave reviews at its premiere at the Cannes Film Festival. It will hit cinema screens later this year.

Irish Independent

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