As today marks the 42nd birthday of Michael Fassbender, we thought we'd give a quick rundown of some of his finest screen work to date.

Although Fassbender's career began in Band Of Brothers, he's been steadily working upwards. He crossed over from arthouse and TV roles into major productions with Inglorious Basterds. Since then, Fassbender's turned up in the likes of Ridley Scott's Prometheus, the so-so Assassin's Creed, X-Men: First Class and period dramas such as Jane Eyre and The Light Between Oceans.

His frequent collaborations with Steve McQueen - 12 Years A Slave, Hunger, and Shame - have earned him the most praise from critics and audiences alike.

Here's our Top 5 Michael Fassbender Scenes.


5. X-MEN: FIRST CLASS - "Let's just say I'm Frankenstein's monster..."

It's a real shame that X-Men Origins: Wolverine was such a failure. It directly prevented us from getting a whole film of Michael Fassbender's Nazi-hunting Magneto. Looking back on First Class, many of these scenes - this one, in particular - were the best part of the film. Although he's playing a younger version of Ian McKellen's Magneto, there's something much more vicious and angry going on here. Fassbender's performance really taps into that sense of righteous vengeance, and he makes it all look so effortless and suave.


4. INGLORIOUS BASTERDS - "There's a special rung in hell reserved for people who waste good Scotch."

Although he only appears in the film in a few scenes, they're by far some of the best in the whole movie. The restaurant scene, wherein Michael Fassbender meets with Diane Kruger and is then interrupted by August Diehl, is an example. It starts off innocuous, filled with Tarantino's "hang-out" dialogue, before it descends quickly into a nail-biting standoff after Fassbender inadvertently gives himself away. The way in which Fassbender drops his accent and, by extension, his whole demeanour really is impressive.


3. SHAME - The subway scene

Although Shame's often reduced to the nudity and frequent sex scenes, the film really has some incredible moments of drama. The opening scene, which features no dialogue of any kind, sees Fassbender's sex-addicted character on a subway making eyes with a fellow passenger. It's all down to minute, micro-expressions done so effectively that you'd forget there's no verbal communication between them. That, coupled with the incredible cinematography and soundtrack behind it, makes for a marked contrast compared to the final scene of the film. When we see the woman again, this time, Fassbender's character is utterly changed by the experiences.



2. STEVE JOBS - "I bled that night. And I don't bleed."

While the Aaron Sorkin / Danny Boyle version of Steve Jobs was not without its problems or faults, when it got it right, it really did knock it out of the park. Many believed, coming into the film, that Fassbender wasn't the man for the job. It was thought that the other names previously attached - Christian Bale, Leonardo DiCaprio - were more suited for the role. While he may not much look like Jobs or sound like him, Fassbender nevertheless made the role his own and created a terrifying, monstrous performance out of it. This scene, in particular, showcases just how unhinged Jobs really was. It made for one of the key scenes in the entire film. The way Fassbender, wide-eyed and teeth ground, battles against Bridges is electrifying.



1. HUNGER - "I will act, and I will not stand by and do nothing."

In order to prepare for this scene, Michael Fassbender and Liam Cunningham lived together for a period of time in order to fully prepare both for the epic length of the monologue and to get better acquainted with each other. Throughout Hunger, Fassbender's portrayal of Bobby Sands very often goes past the point of mere performance and into actual embodiment. There's that gritted determination and coldness that makes you believe - truly believe - that these men were willing to die for what they believed in. It's an incredible scene, running for close to twenty-three minutes. It features an unbroken sixteen-minute back-and-forth between Cunningham and Fassbender where they discuss the morality of the hunger strikes. Here's the finale of the scene, where an anecdote is recalled about a memory from Sands' childhood.