Michael Fassbender at Fossa National School on Monday with parents Cathriona Cahillane, Aileen Brady and Marian O’Neill.
HOLLYWOOD heart-throb Michael Fassbender has jokingly told pupils at his former primary school that his favourite memories of his eight years there all centered around break times.
The 12 Years A Slave star paid an unexpected visit to Fossa National School on Monday, stunning staff and pupils when he walked through the gate at lunchtime.
The A-list celebrity, who was on a brief visit to his home parish after collecting the Best Supporting Actor IFTA in Dublin on Saturday night, chatted happily with staff before spending some time mingling with pupils and posing for snapshots in the newly renovated school.
Fassbender, who turned 37 last week, met the 240 pupils, from juniors to sixth class, who had assembled in the school hall and an impromptu questions and answers session quickly followed.
Apart from divulging that break times were his favourite part of the school day, he told the star-struck children that English and History were his favourite subjects, he is a lifelong fan of Liverpool FC, Hunger was his favourite movie and father-and-son Brendan and Domhnall Gleeson were his favourite actors.
And, no, he assured pupil Dean Casey, he is not afraid of dogs.
Fassbender said he finds learning his lines the hardest part of acting because he doesn’t have a great memory. He told the Fossa children that he can empathise with them when they have to learn their spellings and other homework but he told them to try their best.
Before he left, the Oscar nominated star played an Irish jig on piano and gave a powerful rendition of his favourite song, Hey Jude, for which he was accompanied on piano by teacher Helen Moynihan.
In return, the Fossa pupils sang the Da-Do-Ron-Ron and I’d Do Anything which they learned for their school performance of Oliver last year.
“It was a great surprise for everybody and we are really grateful to him for taking the time to call back to his former school,” Fossa principal Pat Clifford toldKillarneyToday.com.
“He was really charismatic and extremely kind and he gave of his time so freely,” said the principal before adding that Fassbender’s father, Josef, phoned his superstar son three times during the visit to say his mother, Adele, had a duck dinner in the oven and it would be cremated if he didn’t get home.