Michael Fassbender Talks ‘Frank,’ Singing and Going Into the ‘Funk Tunnel’

By: Peggy Truong / August 6, 2014

Fass and McAvoy
Michael Fassbender and 'X-Men' costar James McAvoy step out in NYC.
In Frank, Michael Fassbender delivers his lines while wearing a giant papier-maché head for all but about five minutes of the film.

Naturally, the character’s attire didn’t give the 37-year-old actor much room for pranks on set.

“I couldn’t really see anyone so it would’ve been an unfair advantage to everyone else,” Fassbender told Celebuzz at the film’s New York premiere at the Landmark Sunshine Theater in Manhattan on Tuesday night.

“We had a lot of fun whenever we were playing the music,” he added. “We always kind of got reprimanded for going into what we called the ‘funk tunnel,’ where we sort of went on Michael McDonald tangents. So that was fun.”

The film, directed by Lenny Abrahamson, is loosely based on Frank Sidebottom, the comic persona of English musician Chris Sievey, who started the character in the mid-80s. Frank tells the story of a young wannabe musician who randomly joins a peculiar band called the Soronprfbs, fronted by Frank. They attempt to record an album and later head to South by Southwest in Austin.

Fassbender, who was joined by his cast mates Maggie Gyllenhaal, Domhnall Gleeson, Carla Azar, Francois Civil at the Tommy Hilfiger and Dark Horse wine sponsored event, also revealed that his go-to karaoke song is in fact not “Summer Wind.”

“Not in karaoke. That’s just at open-air events,” he said.

“We did karaoke last night and I did the ‘Irish Rover’ I think,” Gleeson later told me about his sing-along outing with Fassbender and company. “They didn’t have any other folk songs, I wanted more folk songs.”

As for Gyllenhaal’s go-to tune (she plays the theremin in the film), she’s also a lover of classics.

“I’ve only done karaoke one time and I did ‘Ain’t No Sunshine When She’s Gone,’” she said.

The evening continued with an after party at the Westway, where the Frank band reunited for a performance of “I Love You All,” complete with Fassbender in a papier-maché head.

Other partygoers included Zoe Kravitz, Jack White, Kathleen Hanna, Alia Shawkat, Dominic West, Peter Sarsgaard, Marky Ramone and Frank Ferrer.

Frank opens in theaters Aug. 15.

Launch the gallery, above, for more photos from the evening.