He may be best known for being in front of the camera in multiple Hollywood blockbusters and critically acclaimed independent films, but Irish movie star Michael Fassbender’s original ambition was to be a racing driver.
The two-time Oscar nominee has a circuit racing pedigree and spent 2019 racing in the Porsche Sports Cup Germany, but his greatest test was to come a lot closer to home – at the Rally of the Lakes in Killarney, Ireland.
Last year, to celebrate the event’s fortieth anniversary, local boy Fassbender was invited to be the rally’s ambassador and to drive its stages. Not only did he get behind the wheel but he also documented his experience along the way with a short film he has released exclusively on social network VERO.
The three-part documentary short, directed by childhood friend Marco Conte, follows Fassbender’s journey from an early recce in a rental car around the winding stages right through to him taking on the course.
Taking on his first rally course in front of a home crowd was an altogether different challenge for Fassbender, but one that the ‘X-Men’ star relished, “All my early memories are around cars, it’s such an addictive hobby. I’ve always felt called to it.”
“Taking a corner, if the back wheels get off the gravel, it starts moving and it starts sliding, that really scared me. The first couple of runs I had to remind myself to breathe.”
The film also charts the attempt by Irish rally duo Craig Breen and Paul Nagle to win the race in front of Nagle’s hometown fans as a tribute to his late father Maurice, an Irish rally legend who passed away in December 2018.
“The Rally of the Lakes in 2019 was a special event regardless for me and Paul, but having a star like Michael there really topped it all off. For that weekend, he was one of our own and we thoroughly enjoyed him being there – and it turned out he’s not a bad driver either!” said Breen.
The 2020 Rally has sadly been cancelled due to Covid19, but Fassbender is premiering the documentary on VERO to celebrate an event and a community close to his heart. “I hope people will enjoy the film and find ways to support the local events that mean a great deal to them during these uncertain times,” he says. “Here’s to the next forty years of the Rally of the Lakes.”
You can watch Part One on Fassbender’s VERO profile below, with Part Two releasing Tuesday 19th May and the third and final part on Tuesday 26th May.