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Q+A: Michael Fassbender

We ask the actor about his role in the new film, ”The Counselor”

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EW On most films, it’s not usually a priority to have the screenwriter on set, but I imagine with The Counselor it was a little different.

Fassbender Yeah, it was great to have Cormac McCarthy there while we were filming.

EW What was it like meeting him?

Fassbender It’s one of those things where you meet a living legend, so you feel kinda humbled. I just felt pretty, well, stupid.

EW Was it awkward to play Penélope Cruz’s fiancé when her real-life husband, Javier Bardem, is also in the film?

Fassbender He would come into the audition room just by accident pretending he forgot something. [Laughs] No, the two of them are total professionals. There may have been one little raised eyebrow, but that was it.

EW In the past few years, you’ve played an alienated sex addict in Shame, an amoral robot in Prometheus, an avaricious lawyer in The Counselor, and a cruel slave owner in 12 Years a Slave. Why do you insist on only picking likable roles?

Fassbender Yeah, I guess they’re not the nicest people. I try to pick different things in terms of physicality, in terms of the genre — always trying to go for distinct characters. That’s always been what excites me since I started doing this, to take risks and to see how far of a range I’ve got.

EW Your character in The Counselor gets involved with some pretty bad folks.

Fassbender He’s seduced by the world around him. He suffers from arrogance, he thinks he’s smarter than he actually is. And he’s greedy. He’s willing to do bad things for money.

EW What’s the worst thing you’ve done for money? Was it Jonah Hex?

Fassbender Trust me, I didn’t even get paid that well on that job. That wasn’t for the money, that one!