Shame star Michael Fassbender Talks Sex Addiction

By Valerie Tejeda 01/19/12

In the wake of his movie Shame, the actor speaks knowledgeably on how an addict's pleasure dwindles.

Michael Fassbender in Shame Photo via

Michael Fassbender’s character in the currently-showing Shame is a far cry from his role as "Magneto" in last summer’s X-Men: First Class. He plays Brandon Sullivan, a sex-addicted New York executive whose addiction draws him to internet porn, casual sex, porn shops and hookers—without any apparent sense of pleasure. The actor even met with many recovering sex addicts while preparing to protray an addiction that is often misunderstood. Fassbender tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross, "It would be a similar circumstance if you make a parallel to an alcoholic. An alcoholic doesn't enjoy a drink, but it gets to a point where when you wake up in the morning, you have to get a bottle of liquor in your system just in order to function...The addiction totally takes over so the pleasure center dwindles, and it's more about satisfying the compulsion." The movie Shame, directed by Steve McQueen, is meant to be explicit rather than erotic, to show people the sadness and struggle of sexual addiction.

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Entertainment journalist and author Valerie Tejeda spends her days reporting on books, television, and all things pertaining to pop culture, and spends her nights writing novels for teens. Her stories have appeared on a variety of different publications, including but not limited to: VanityFair, MTV, The Huffington Post, TeenVogue, She Knows, Latina, The Fix,, Cosmopolitan, and more. You can find Valerie on Linkedin and Twitter.