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Exclusive Clip: Michael Fassbender’s The Light Between Oceans Method Acting Involved Laundry and Milking Goats


The Light Between Oceans centers on a couple (Alicia Vikander and Michael Fassbender) who find a boat washed up on shore with a baby and dead man inside. After two miscarriages, they decide to go against protocol and raise the child as their own rather than reporting their finding to the authorities. Years later, when they find themselves face-to-face with the girl’s biological mother, they’re forced to deal with the consequences of their actions. The period drama is based on the book by M. L. Stedman and was directed by Derek Cianfrance.

In an exclusive clip, Cianfrance instructs Fassbender through his preferred method on filmmaking called “experience.” It sounds a lot like method acting because Fassbender isn’t so much pretending as he is performing the actions. He is seen milking goats and folding his bed and at one point, asks if any of that footage will be used in the film. Cianfrance even makes reference to him doing his own laundry. All of this is supposed to create a more authentic feel to the film, which I think comes across in the final product. What I can appreciate about this is that while Fassbender’s character is a guilt-ridden war survivor, the focus is on his mindset and not how it effects those around him. Take notes, actors who like to torture their co-stars for the sake of art.

It’s also interesting to have such a raw behind-the-scenes look at what goes into filmmaking. For any film nerd looking to break into the business, this is a neat glimpse into a world you rarely get to see. Cool.

The Light Between the Oceans heads to Blu-ray and Digtal HD on January 24.

(image via screencap)

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