Michael Fassbender has fast become one of the most interesting and talked about actors. With roles in films such as Shame, X-Men: First Class and Prometheus he has had a couple of really productive and successful years at the movies. With his latest film “12 years a slave”, all reports are that his performance in Steve McQueen’s movie is brilliant. He plays a plantation owner in Louisiana and has a black man working for him who was kidnapped from New York and sold to his character Edwin Epps.
The news story today is that Michael has said that he is too busy and not particularly interested in campaigning to get an Oscar Nomination. Good on him. I still don’t understand why such an award can be campaigned for. Surely this kind of award is given to the best at their craft that year and not to the person who presses the flesh and meets the middle management at over-expensive soirees. Otherwise the Oscar means nothing.
To win an award in your field should be about your success and nothing else, but more and more these awards ceremonies are becoming a social networking race – both in real life and online. Look at Facebook and Twitter where every second celebrity is tweeting and putting updates on Facebook about awards you can vote for to help their show win. This stops it being about the show and is just a popularity contest instead. This is why Sci-Fi shows always do better than expected as the fans are loyal and ensure that public votes are, not fixed, but effectively pushed in the right direction.
Then there is the argument that panels who award trophies and gongs are just as political – look at the Brits or the Baftas where decisions are taken that defy belief because the winners are unknowns and massive underdogs. That’s not to say that they don’t sometimes deserve it but looking back on this year’s Brits with Ben Howard taking best British Male Solo over some of the other options does raise eyebrows and questions.
So I’m pleased that Fassbender is focussing on the job and if he does win for his role in this film it will be purely on him deserving it and not a decision made by the money spent on the campaign instead.