The 40-year-old Irish actor has been on the receiving end of many cinematic smooches in his day, but the one in Alien: Covenant, out May 19, is a first: It's Fassbender on Fassbender. Talk about a GIF goldmine.
Fassbender reunites with director Ridley Scott to play two characters in the follow-up to 2012's Prometheus, which is also a prequel to the 1979 sci-fi classic that started it all, Alien. Fans of Prometheus will recognise David, the slick, Lawrence of Arabia-quoting synthetic who seems a little too interested in biological warfare and alien lifeforms. Walter is his more passive, inscrutable, and technologically advanced twin — think David without the daddy issues, ego, or peroxide.
If David is modelled after David Bowie and T.E. Lawrence, Walter is, shall we say, a more basic version. During the film's London press junket, Fassbender told Refinery29 about his inspiration for Walter.
"With Walter, I wanted to obviously have something counter David," he explained. "David is, especially in this, very theatrical and expressive, so I wanted Walter to be kind of unreadable. So, it would have been [inspired by] Leonard Nimoy, a bit of Gary Numan. They were the two main influences, really."
The two synthetics, both of whom have been surrounded solely by humans, are understandably drawn to one another. Without giving too much away, this results in an android-on-android kiss.
According to Fassbender, it wasn't as sexy as it looks.
"Well, I wasn't kissing myself technically — which always reminds me of James Brown," he quipped, referencing the singer's "wanna kiss myself" lyric in "Super Bad."
"No, I was kissing a guy called Tom," he added with a wink. "If he's out there, I still think of you, Tom. He was basically my double, so he would sort of mimic what I was doing with Walter, and then he would mimic what I was doing with David. So it was just a very technical day that day, just to get everything precise blocking-wise so that we could have both of these guys on screen."
"He's underestimating what he did," Ridley Scott, also sitting in on the interview, chimed in. "He's being extremely modest."
We'll say. And if the thought of twice the Fassbender doesn't give you a warm, fuzzy feeling, we leave you with this quote from Scott about the Alien franchise's history of featuring women, from Sigourney Weaver's Ripley to Katherine Waterston's Daniels, in the main roles.
"I never really had a big problem with the idea of having a female lead," the legendary filmmaker told us. "The person who brought me up was a female leader. It was my mother, who was one tough dude, and she produced three good kids — my brother Tony Scott, [director of] Top Gun, blah blah blah, and my brother [Frank Scott], a sea captain in the South China Sea. So she did pretty good. She was tough with us. We respected her. So I think women are going to take over the world. Relax, you're going to def be the boss. We'll do as we're told."
Can we get that in writing?