Oscars: Michael Fassbender Says He Won't Campaign Again

Michael Fassbender

After his fruitless pursuit of a nomination for "Shame," the "12 Years a Slave" star tells GQ, "I'm not a politician. I'm an actor."

Two years ago, Michael Fassbender spent months campaigning for an Oscar nomination for his role as a sex addict in Steve McQueen's Shame. He was not nominated. Even though he has an Oscar-friendly role again this year, this time as an evil plantation owner in McQueen's 12 Years a Slave, he won't be hitting the campaign trail, the actor tells GQ.

"You know, I get it. Everybody's got to do their job. So you try and help and facilitate as best you can. But I won't put myself through that kind of situation again," he tells the magazine for its November cover story. "It's just a grind. And I'm not a politician. I'm an actor."

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He has a convenient excuse for his absence on the campaign trail, explaining that he'll be on set, filming his production company's first feature in New Zealand and then shooting Macbeth with Marion Cotillard.

"I'm going to be busy working," Fassbender tells GQ. "I just don't really have time."

Fassbender's remarks aren't quite as extreme as those made to Interview magazine last year by Joaquin Phoenix, another potential nominee this year for his work in Her.

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Phoenix said the awards circuit is "total, utter bullshit, and I don't want to be a part of it."

"I don't believe in it," he added. "It's a carrot, but it's the worst-tasting carrot I've ever tasted in my whole life. I don't want this carrot. It's totally subjective. Pitting people against each other … it's the stupidest thing in the whole world."

Phoenix also had a bad experience campaigning for an award, for his 2005 portrayal of Johnny Cash in Walk the Line. Although he earned an Oscar nomination and won a Golden Globe for best actor, he didn't take home the Oscar.

Despite his complaining last year, Phoenix still received a best actor Oscar nomination for his work in The Master.

12 Years a Slave hits theaters in the U.S. on Friday.