Michael Fassbender, the German-born, Irish-raised actor who caught the eye of audiences around the world for his role in Inglourious Basterds, stars in a film adaptation of Jane Eyre as Rochester with Mia Wasikowska. Having grown up with the story, Fassbender says he was intrigued by the complexity of the iconic literary character. “Both my sister and my mother were big fans of the book, so I sort of grew up with them talking about it quite a lot, so I thought, you know, I should take it on and see if I can sort of impress my mother and my sister or do justice to the role and then sort of reading it myself I really got into just the sort of complexity of it,” Fassbender told Uinterview in an exclusive video interview. “Also, you know, it’s daring, it’s dangerous. Just the sort of idea of this history of this guy and what may have gone in this history and the fact that he’s carrying this history around with him all the time.”

Fassbender believes that the chemistry between him and Wasikowska gave him an advantage in his own acting job. “Sometimes you have to just pretend something else is there, but you know she’s sort of giving you so much and she’s coming up with her own things that you have to respond to,” he told Uinterview. “Therefore you’re acting, but you’re also reacting to what she’s doing, so then you’re sort of making music, as opposed to sort of going, okay, I must now look like I have chemistry with her. I mean, either it’s there, or it’s not. I mean it’s not something that you can really sort of prepare for.”


Q: Hi Michael, it’s Kathy from Colorado, sending best wishes from everyone at Michael Fassbender online. What drew you to the role of Rochester in Jane Eyre? - KathyHorsfall

Cary was directing it, and I’d seen 'Sin Nombre' and was very impressed by that. And the story itself, I mean both my sister and my mother were big fans of the book, so I sort of grew up with them talking about it quite a lot, so I thought you know I should take it on and see if I can sort of impress my mother and my sister or do justice to the role and then sort of reading it myself I really got into just the sort of the complexity of it. Also, you know, it’s daring, it’s dangerous. You know, just the sort of idea of this history of this guy and what may have gone in this history and the fact that he’s carrying this history around with him all the time. I thought that was really interesting, and what it must have been like to have the woman in the attic with you at all times, in every scene, you know.

Q: Is there anything in his character that you can identify with? - KathyHorsfall

Other than having that woman locked up in my attic… [laughs] No, I mean you start with all characters, I think all of us as human beings have all of the traits of our worst sort of examples of human beings and the best examples. So I think, you know whether that be killer or a samaritan, they’re both elements that are in all of us, and I think you just sort of start to exercise them by reading the script over and over by sort of getting to know the character. Then you sort of just develop those elements in your self and expand something that you don’t have so much of and decrease something else. That’s kind of the same process for everything.

Q: Hi Michael, this is Julia from Connecticut, how did you prepare for the role? - Julia Alkon

Well, you know, I mean you just have to sort of do it. I mean you have to sort of just go for it, and you have to commit yourself to her, and [Mia Wasikowka]’s such a wonderful actress. Sometimes you have to just pretend something else is there, but you know she’s sort of giving you so much and she’s coming up with her own things that you have to respond to. Therefore you’re acting, but you’re also reacting to what she’s doing, so then you’re sort of making music, as opposed to sort of going, okay I must now look like I have chemistry with her. I mean, either it’s there or it’s not. I mean it’s not something that you can really sort of prepare for. If it’s not there you have to start saying, oh there was this girl when I was, whatever, 24, and she reminds me of that. I’ll put her in place. Those sort of things just happen by the way you cast something.

Q: Thanks. Do you have any Jane Eyre film set stories you can share? And what was the most intersting scene for you to shoot with your co-star Mia Wasikowska? - Julia Alkon

Each day sort of discovering something new and also you don’t have a lot of money to make these sort of films so there’s time pressure, you know. It was nice to be in Buxton I have to say, which the Peak District in England is a very beautiful place. If anybody gets a chance, they should go there. They’re very friendly people and you can understand how the Bronte sisters got their inspirations in these sort of settings. You know, the landscape itself almost becomes a character.