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Although Fassbender’s at the Waldorf this week promoting his latest film Jane Eyre (which is possibly the most atmospheric and involving version of the classic tale ever filmed), he admits he hasn’t had a minute to himself because of his filming schedule.Word&Film features him as 'The Byronic Man: Michael Fassbender Reinvents Rochester for Contemporary Audiences'.
“I haven’t seen it yet!” he laughs. “I’m waiting for the premiere here. But making it was a fantastic experience.
“I just wanted to try and understand all the complexities of the character (the conflicted Mister Rochester). I have to say the Brontes wrote some cracking characters, both female and male. I love the idea of this Byronic hero with a shady past. We see his courage and his self-destructiveness, his intelligence and everything else.
“What I wanted to show is that he really doesn’t like himself. He tries to sabotage things for himself. I thought he was quite bi-polar in fact. One minute he can be happy and by the end of the scene he switches.
“The sins of his past are with him all the time too. I’m sure he’s visited brothels, and the fact that he leaves his mansion all the time are all things I dealt with.
“And Mia (the film’s co-star Mia Wasikowska) is just f***ing brilliant. We worked on scenes for hours and it would have been impossible to get that level of intensity without her.” (Cahir O'Doherty)
In the pantheon of romantic icons, Edward Rochester occupies the central podium among the other smoldering, wounded nineteenth-century iconoclasts like Heathcliff, and Fitzwilliam Darcy, and Newland Archer. Put another way: If there were a Lollapalooza-like festival for literary romantic heroes, Edward Rochester would be the headlining act, with his set kicking off sometime after the guys from Arcade Fire and Radiohead had already cleared the stage.Via the BBC Costume Drama community we have come across a bunch of interviews with the cast of Jane Eyre on Trailer Addict.
That’s a lot to live up to for any actor who takes on the role of Rochester. Fortunately, Michael Fassbender, the thirty-three-year-old German-born, Irish-bred actor tasked with embodying the brooding aristocrat in the the latest big-screen iteration of “Jane Eyre,” not only embraces the pressure to perform — he seems to thrive on the stuff. “What I liked about Rochester in particular is that he’s not a good guy or a bad guy; there’s ambiguity there,” says Fassbender. “I realized I was taking on the Byronic hero. And once I locked onto that, I had everything I needed for the role. There’s intelligence, there’s self-destructiveness, there’s this idea of a shady past. There’s a flawed personality. There’s someone who doesn’t like the conforms of society. There’s a rebel, really.” [...]
However, he’s arguably already passed the first and greatest test of his ability to handle mythic figures by creating a very modern humanized version of Rochester, who is equal parts yearning, loneliness, arrogance, and charisma. “Rochester doesn’t have any friends. It’s the classic thing that he doesn’t like himself much. So he does damaging things to himself,” Fassbender says. “He’s got so many layers up when Jane comes along and she just starts peeling them off one by one and starts to heal this guy. I think it’s quite beautiful when two human beings can come together and start to heal each other.” (Christine Spines)
Moira Buffini (screenwriter)
Alison Owen (producer)
They considered a full literary classics arcade, with their next submission being Jane Eyre (which would be amazing), but instead they put the source code online for any other developer hankering to create another classic NES game. (Melissa Bell)So, all you developers out there, what about that Nintendo-style Jane Eyre for us Brontëites?
I also couldn't tell you the difference between Jane Austen and Charlotte Brontë.Law of Sympathy and The Fill in the Gaps: 100 project both post about Jane Eyre and Mary and Me is looking forward to seeing the new adaptation. Fictionista Workshop and 90s Born Reader's Blog write about Wuthering Heights. Les Soeurs Brontë writes in French about Tabby Aykroyd.