We never thought we'd see this day...

Kerry acting sensation Michael Fassbender would never had made the big time on the silver screen if it was up to his father. In fact, Josef Fassbender had always been encouraging and advising his award-winning son to "get a proper job".
Josef, a gifted chef who, who with his wife Adele, owns and runs the West End House Restaurant in Killarney, is now glad his boy didn't listen to his advise.
And he admits to being as proud as punch of his son's success on an international stage, following every step of his fascinating journey alongside the Hollywood elite with a great sense of satisfaction and admiration.

But when Michael first decided to take up the life of a thespian, soon after he had left his days of St.Brendan's College in Killarney behind him, his parents were worried that he could be setting himself up for heartbreak.
"It sounds funny now but I tried to talk him out of it because it is such an unstable profession. If depends so much on luck, who you meet, how you are received," Josef told "The Kingdom".
"For him to be working with big actors, all the top guns... we never thought we would see this day. It's great. You can see he enjoys what he does", he added.
Though Michael was born in Heidelberg, his dad can't help smiling at the description of him in some media circles as being a German actor.
"I say he's an Irish actor. I'd say Fossa probably claims him first and before anywhere else and then maybe Killarney", Josef smiled.
He insist Michael was a born performer and remembers the antics of his early days as a pupil in Fossa National School and then in St.Brendan’s as a teenager. Reflecting on those days, he acknowledges now that life would only ever lead his son in one direction – right bang on centre stage.
"There was always an interest in performing there. He learned guitar and he was always singing. Adele, his mum sings too".
"He went to school in St.Brendan’s and you know the way they come up to the end of the final year and nobody knows what to do. It was then he bumped into Donie Courtney (founder of the Bricriu theatre company in Killarney) and bang – that's was it," he added.

Band of Brothers. The major 2001 TV miniseries, in which he starred alongside Tom Hanks, may have been the then London based Michael's first big break but there was still an uphill struggle to get his career properly kick-started.
"He got a wake-up call with Band of Brothers because he thought everything was rosy and then all of a sudden he was out of work for a year and he had nothing to live on", Josef said.
"He did a lot of jobs. He even unloaded trucks at night. But I said "listen you can't do that because he looked white in the morning and then going for interviews". He had no chance, you know.
"After that he concentrated on the bar work and he still has a lot of friends in the bar trade over there", he added.

After the massive success of the film Hunger, however, it soon became apparent that his working life in bars or nightclub was behind him for good.
Fassbender played IRA hero Bobby Sands - and the rest is cinema history, albeit of a recent vintage.
"When he was first up for the part in Hunger we discussed it here. It was a very dangerous project, you know with the political situation, but he was going to work with Steve McQueen who is such a fantastic, such an intelligent man", Josef explained.
"It was a difficult film but I think the balance was caught very well. Steve McQueen focused on the human side more than anything else".
"The main scene with Liam Cunningham was 27 minutes long. It is probably in the Guinness Book of Records as the longest unbroken scene", Josef said.

To play the role of hunger striker Sands, the Killarney actor was forced to lose a massive amount of weight, something which frightened Josef and Adele as they kept in tune with developments from their base at Fossa, Killarney.
"He spent that Christmas away but was here after Christmas, in the beginning of January. I remember he was sitting at the bar in the restaurant and I looked at his fingers and I said "Michael I think it's enough", Josef recalled.
"After that he went away for another two weeks and what he did then I don't know but he didn't talk to anybody. He didn't want to see anybody, and when we saw him in the film, A and myself were both so frightened. He looked desperate.
"But he had to go on a diet as the film would have looked ridiculous if he had not", he added.
For his film, the historical epic 300, Michael had done the complete opposite by bulking up his torso to play a muscular and ferocious Spartan warrior. This, according to Josef, made the process of losing weigh for Hunger that much more difficult.
"He had no excess fat. It was all muscle so when losing muscle you have to wait until in shrinks".
"I think the German half comes through in that way – he likes to do thinks properly," he added.

Josef is also proud that Michael tries to bring something different to every role he plays, even if it does mean giving his parents a fright now and again, as with his gruesome role in the horror blockbuster Eden Lake.
"Hunger really shocked us but with Eden Lake, I think A was very frightened by it", Josef said.
"She was watching it and saying to him on the screen "I don't go in the house – don't go in the house" as if he could hear her", he joked.
Having a famous actor for a son does have its upside, however, not least VIP trips to Cannes for premiere events on the red carpet. This year his movie IB was the big story of the glitzy festival.
"It is very funny in parts, but he (Quentin Tarantino) made a lot of cuts after Cannes so I have to see it again to see how in came out", Josef explained.
"It's funny to see and hear Michael speaking German with the English accent", he added.
Another of Michael's films, Fish Tank, with director Andrea Arnold, also premiered at the festival and is due out in Ireland on September 11. It is, however, very different to his role as Lt. Archie Hicox, in Inglourious Basterds.
"He likes to do different things, to be on the edge I think, Josef remarked.
"He has been very lucky to work with creative directors. Andrea, I know, likes plays with characters and things like that. Steve McQueen is more visual effect. Then he was with Tom Hanks in Band of Brothers, he picked some good ones," he mused.
Fassbender's latest director, Quentin Tarantino, also impressed Josef: "It was so funny. We were sitting in Cannes, in the hotel lobby having a drink, and Quentin Tarantino come over and says "Do you mind if I sit here".
"I said to myself, Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Tarantino asked if he can sit with us. But he is another very interesting man. The knowledge the man has like a computer and any film you mention he has seen it.
"What impressed me was his knowledge of Germany. Things that only Germans would know, he knows. He's another man who does his homework well," he added.

But Inglourious Basterds is just the latest project in the limelight. According to Josef Fassbender, there is plenty yet to come from a man who can now be described as Killarney's most famous celebrity son.
"The next one is Centurion, I don’t know where Creek is in the pipeline and then there's Jonah Hex with Josh Brolin and Megan Fox so there are another three or four coming out with him in them, Josef declared proudly.
"He was in the Comic-con festival with Jonah Hex recently and it was well received so, hopefully, it's another good film for him. He is in it with John Malkovich who is legend as well.
"He has a few projects, so we'll see what he's picking", he added.
After taking his place, deservedly, on the red carpet at a number of hot Hollywood premiere events, Michael still has burning ambitions for the future, not least taking on a few more leading roles.
"He doesn't have to go that much for casting anymore as people invite him to come which is a good step forward. But the problems is now that he wants to go for lead roles which makes it difficult because he doesn’t have the name yet to pull the money in", Josef observer.
"He lives in London and is happy there but he's in LA at the moment. The big films are in America so you have to go over there, he added.
But being in California does mean that Michael is closed to his older sister, Catherine, who lives a few hours away in Sacramento.
"She's another one we are very proud of. She is doctor and she is currently researching ADHD. It is so difficult to break in when in America but hopefully now she will get a job in a faculty there", he added.

Josef is hoping to see one or both of them in the coming month, and has fingers crossed that Michael might make it home for Christmas.
"That's the problem, tying him down. He books so many flights and then at the last minute, he has to meet this person or that person. It's so spur of the moment and he has to be somewhere else all the time."
It's not difficult for Josef and Adele Fassbender to keep up with what their son is up to, however. Now with a growing legion of fans Michael even has his own dedicated fan website offering a one-stop for Fassbender updates, news and reviews.
"It's amazing how they know everything. It’s almost frightening really", his dad said.