The Knockturnal was on the red carpet for the New York premiere of “Assassin’s Creed.”
Through a revolutionary technology that unlocks his genetic memories, Callum Lynch (Michael Fassbender) experiences the adventures of his ancestor, Aguilar, in 15th Century Spain. Callum discovers he is descended from a mysterious secret society, the Assassins, and amasses incredible knowledge and skills to take on the oppressive and powerful Templar organization in the present day. The film stars Academy Award nominee Michael Fassbender and Academy Award winner Marion Cotillard. The film is directed by Justin Kurzel; produced by New Regency, Ubisoft Motion Pictures, DMC Films and Kennedy/Marshall; co-financed by RatPac Entertainment and Alpha Pictures; and distributed by 20th Century Fox.
Tell me a little bit about the journey your character takes.
Michael Fassbender: Yeah. There’s two characters and one informs the other. Callum Lynch is our present day character. He’s somebody that’s been incarcerated most of his life. When we meet him, he’s on death row. He’s about to be executed. He’s a very cynical character, hardened character and very distrusting of other people and it’s only through his experience in the animus that he realizes that he belongs to something greater than himself. He has a lineage to this brotherhood dating back to 15th century Spain. Through his experience in the animus, starts to embrace this role as a leader.
Tell me about collaborating with Justin and what you admire about him.
Michael Fassbender: There’s so much I admire about Justin. This guy’s a very strong visionary. He’s a great leader. He instills a lot of passion in the whole crew. He’s great with actors. He’s got a very visceral quality to his filmmaking. It’s always anchored in a realism and I knew that he would handle violence well.
What message do you have to the uber fans of this game?
Michael Fassbender: I would say, we’ve respected the game and hopefully we’ve brought some new surprises and elements to it. For example, the animus itself is something that in the game it’s quite an inert experience for the person sitting in the animus chair, so that was something that we wanted to change. We wanted to really give a physicalization to the character in the animus that would represent what their ancestor is doing and I think they’re going to enjoy that. Just one of the things, hopefully.
Tell me a little bit about the journey that your character takes.
Marion Cotillard: I was very happy and I felt very lucky that I could work with Justin Kurzel and Michael Fassbender again. I didn’t know anything about the game but I read the script. That was actually my first introduction to the Assassin’s Creed world.
I thought the concept of genetic memory was absolutely fascinating. I thought that the movie was very entertaining and at the same time, asked very profound questions. This character Sophia Rikkin is so powerful and mysterious, complex. So for all of those reasons, I was very happy to be part of the project.
Can you tell me what you admire about Justin’s filmmaking?
Marion Cotillard: He’s a true artist. I need to work with directors who need to do movies, who need to tell stories who are good technicians but who have a vision, a very strong vision in their own universe. He’s an amazing director for actors. One of the best I worked with.
Tell me about what attracted you to the project.
Michael K. Williams: The main thing that attracted me to the project was the cast. I’m a huge fan of Michael and Marion. When I watched Snowtown Murders, I was immediately traumatized and I knew that I had to work with Justin. The writing. I love the world. I had never heard of the video game prior to coming to the script but the world was so beautiful, so dense, so rich with character and this idea of ancestral energy that I subscribe to in my personal life. I believe I am here based on everybody that came before me in my family. This movie spoke to that. All those things combined.
What was the most challenging part for you?
Michael K. Williams: What was very challenging was, being a part of a project this fast and this technical. I’m used to doing more character driven stuff and not so technical. The fight scenes were intense and very technical. That was challenging but it stretched me. I grew.
Lastly, congratulations on the Golden Globe nomination for The Night Of, incredible work on that. Can you reflect on working on that?
Michael K. Williams: Again, great cast. Riz Ahmed, he deserves all the accolades that he gets. John Turturro. Steven Zaillian, he’s a madman, but name one genius who’s not. He’s a straight up master to work with. I learned a lot about the process of getting into character on that project.
ASSASSIN’S CREED opens in theaters worldwide on December 21st, 2016 and is rated PG-13.