James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender square off in new films
Long-time friends and X-Men co-stars James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender square off in movies opening here tomorrow. We rate the two hotties
James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender aren't just two hotties who play superhero frenemies and rivals Professor X and Magneto in the X-Men films First Class (2011) and Days Of Future Past (2014).
They're also best mates.
And now, both actors are in movies based on literary classics opening here tomorrow. McAvoy is the titular mad scientist in sci-fi horror flick Victor Frankenstein, adapted from Mary Shelley's 1818 novel Frankenstein, and Fassbender is the eponymous Scottish tyrant in war drama Macbeth, based on the famous William Shakespeare play.
McAvoy, 36, and Fassbender, 38, are both rising stars who have climbed their way up from indie flicks to Hollywood blockbusters like the X-Men films.
McAvoy, who is Scottish, and Fassbender, who is German-Irish, also share a famous bromance both on-screen and off.
In an interview with US talk show host Conan O'Brien in July, the pair discussed their upcoming film X-Men: Apocalypse, which opens here May 19 next year.
They joked about how their characters, good guy Charles Xavier and bad guy Magneto, otherwise known as Erik Lehnsherr, are entangled in a love story.
"It's that thing in a love story where you don't always like the person you're with, but you still love them," said McAvoy.
"Charles and Erik always hated the way (the other) approached things... like, 'He's always trying to kill the humans' or 'He's always going on about the same old s***'.
"And yet, I love the guy. I don't wanna kill him, or mind-control him... I love him."
Fassbender added: "I was always a fan of James' work, but X-Men: First Class was the first time we actually became one."
With both squaring off at the box office this week, does the true X-factor belong to McAvoy or Fassbender?
As the nutty scientist who brings dead body parts to life in Victor Frankenstein, McAvoy absolutely kills it. "The things you expect and want to see are the original archetypal mad doctor... I think you want to see crazy, and that's there in bucketloads," he told website /Film.
"He's got a deep-seated emotional trauma form of motivation as well, which the book doesn't really have, and is one of the things that I think (director) Paul (McGuigan) injected into the script, which was really clever of him."
McAvoy has also starred in the CS Lewis film adaptation The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as the faun Mr Tumnus, and also played the love interest of author Jane Austen, Thomas Lefroy, in 2007's Becoming Jane.
Incidentally, he has also played Macbeth, but on stage and in 2013. No surprise there, as McAvoy shares the Shakespearean anti-hero's Scottish heritage.
Playing the noble Scotsman-turned-murderer and traitor, Fassbender brings a raw physicality and magnetism to Macbeth.
A keen fighter, he brings the character to life by showing his great skill in battle, butchering his enemies mercifully. His virtues are made so evident that his gradual descent into evil and madness are all the more tragic.
You can't help but watch in awe as he spouts lines like "O, full of scorpions is my mind!" with great anguish.
Fassbender has also played Byronic hero Mr Rochester in 2011's Jane Eyre, and sadistic planter Edwin Epps in 12 Years a Slave (2013), the film adaptation of the 1853 memoir by Solomon Northup.
Both actors display charm but it's Fassbender's performance that's more spellbinding and memorable.
McAvoy has bagged 11 film awards, including two BAFTA (British Academy of Film and Television) Scotland Awards for Best Actor, for Filth (2013) and The Last King of Scotland (2006).
His total film and TV award count? A whopping 58! He's also got something McAvoy doesn't: An Oscar nomination (Best Supporting Actor for 12 Years a Slave). He also won the London Critics Circle Film Award for British Actor of the Year twice, in 2009 and 2012.
The numbers say it all. Fassbender is clearly the darling of film critic circles and Academy voters.
We've always been partial to McAvoy's floppy-haired, boy-next-door look - which is why we were aghast when he shaved his head to play the dome-headed Professor X in X-Men: Apocalypse. Some men look good bald, but McAvoy isn't one of them.
At least we have his previous movies to remember his hotness by, like in The Last King of Scotland, where he strips down to his underwear and later shows off his bare bum, and in Atonement, where he shares a sexy lovemaking scene with Keira Knightley. Let's hope his hair grows back really soon.
This dude looks like he was carved into the form of a Greek god. Fassbender is your typical alpha male, and there's something about him that reminds us of Hollywood legend Charlton Heston.
Let's not forget Fassbender is packing the goods where it counts, too. His nude scenes in the 2011 sex addiction drama Shame are enough to reduce any grown woman to a quivering lump of putty.
Fassbender is more classically handsome, while McAvoy is the kind of cute guy you'd want to bring home to your mother.
He's romanced some of the most beautiful women in the world - Angelina Jolie, Rosario Dawson, Kerry Washington and Knightley.
He even met his wife, British actress Anne-Marie Duff, 45, while filming the 2004 TV series Shameless.
The couple got married in 2006 and have a five-year-old son, Brendan.
Not to be outdone, he has a habit of dating his leading ladies, like Zoe Kravitz (X-Men: First Class), Nicole Beharie (Shame) and Alicia Vikander (The Light Between Oceans). Yup, Fassbender is definitely a player.
Not only has he snogged Jolie, he also successfully wooed and wed his favourite co-star, Duff. Fassbender may still be a swinging bachelor, but McAvoy has better luck with the ladies.
Forbes magazine reported that McAvoy brought in an estimated US$747 million (S$1.05 billion) in global box office takings in 2014, making him the eighth most bankable star in Hollywood. The huge numbers were mostly from X-Men: Days of Future Past and bolstered by his smaller romance film last year, The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby: Them.
According to Forbes, Fassbender was the ninth most bankable star of 2014 with global box office takings of US$746m, narrowly losing out to McAvoy.
But we're pretty sure next year will be huge for him. Besides X-Men: Apocalypse, he also has the much-hyped biopic Steve Jobs out next year. And let's not forget he's producing and starring in the massive video game adaptation Assassin's Creed, slated for 2017.
Surprisingly, it's McAvoy who comes out ahead this year, but Fassbender could very well catch up in 2016.
While McAvoy is all-round lovable, has enjoyed a solid career and Victor Frankenstein has the makings of a hit, it's Fassbender who's truly at the top of his game now.
Like James McAvoy, these actors also hail from the land of kilts and bagpipes
Jane Got A Gun (2016)
Gods Of Egypt (2016)
The Last Witch Hunter (2015)
Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014)
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (2017)
Finding Forrester (2000)