Michael Fassbender always had that 'roguish smile', says childhood teacher
HE may be the toast of Hollywood this awards season but Michael Fassbender's teachers still remember him as a "rogue" in school.
Michael has been nominated for a Golden Globe this weekend and is also tipped to pick up a BAFTA. However, he still can't shake off his reputation as a "joker" as a boy growing up in Kerry.
The 36-year-old actor was recorded on the school roll book with the Irish version of his name 'Micheal'. His parents registered him at Fossa National School as one of 16 Junior Infant pupils -- nine boys and seven girls .
Deputy principal Linda O'Donoghue said he showed a talent for acting and also had a lovely singing voice.
And she said he was a "loveable rogue" with a wicked sense of humour.
"He always had that roguish smile," she told the Herald. "Any time he ever got into any bit of mischief he'd give that big smile and how could you give out to him then?"
Ms O'Donoghue said it was his teacher Mary Murphy, now retired, who fostered his love of acting.
The Hollywood star last visited his old school was in March 2009 when he was given a civic reception by Killarney Town Council and was grand marshal at the St Patrick's Day parade.
While visiting his parents Joseph and Adele, who still live in the village, he took time to call into his old school. "He was lovely and just the same ordinary fellow he ever was with no airs or graces," his former teacher recalled.
Children had prepared the Beatles song Let It Be to sing for him and he joined in and when it finished he asked teacher Helen Moynihan, who had accompanied them on piano, if she knew any more. "We had prepared the song for him and it ended up with him entertaining us instead," Ms O'Donoghue said.
Counting a famous actor among your past pupils has also inspired children attending Fossa National School, the next generation of filmmakers, who have already won national awards for their efforts with sixth class teacher, Fiona Hallisey.
In 2011 they won a national award for history for their re-enactment of the most famous romance in Irish mythology, the tale of Oisin and Niamh, whom legend recalls met for the first time on the shores of Loch Leinn in Fossa.
Their success was repeated this year in the Fis awards for young filmmakers for their short film The Gold Cross of Fossa.
"The children here are not afraid to dream because for them, Michael is living the dream and anything is possible," Ms Hallisey said.
She has fond memories of Michael the pupil as well.
"He has always been good-humoured and creative but also a bit of a joker and great craic. Everyone was mad about him," she added.
12 Years A Slave opens in Irish cinemas today and sees Michael take the role of a brutal slave owner which has won him nominations in the Best Supporting Actor category for Sunday night's Golden Globes.