Michael Fassbender had his sights set on fully embodying an anxious serial killer, according to “The Killer” cinematographer Erik Messerschmidt.

Messerschmidt, who has worked with director David Fincher on “Mindhunter” and “Mank,” told Empire Magazine (via IGN) that Fassbender is the “perfect actor” for the “Seven” auteur — and said the actor didn’t blink while on camera.

“The focus puller highlighted something remarkable: the actor didn’t blink on camera for the entire shoot,” Messerschmidt said of Fassbender, who portrays an assassin who has a psychological crisis.

Director Fincher added, “Michael’s eyes betray a lot. He can hold a lot of conflicting things in his mind and his eyes allow you access to it.”

He continued, “I thought the character’s nihilism was interesting because it was tied to his self-loathing. Then I started thinking about this inner monologue. He has this whole thing he tells himself, which is a way of demeaning his prey so he can feel better about ostensibly being a serial killer for hire. I thought that could be interesting to navigate.”

Fassbender said during a behind-the-scenes video of “The Killer” that he considered working with director Fincher to be a “great privilege and honor,” calling the auteur “one of the best filmmakers out there.”

“With somebody of David’s caliber, it was a very special opportunity for me,” Fassbender said of the dedication to his performance.

And the effort not to blink on-camera is a cornerstone of certain acting techniques: Michael Caine credited the book “Teach Yourself Acting” for advising to always have your eyes open.

“One thing that stuck in my mind was, ‘Don’t blink. You must never blink,’” Caine said in 2021. “For the next eight years, I walked around trying not to blink. People around me, my mother and everybody, thought I had gone nuts. They thought I was a psychopath. I used to frighten the life out of people.”

He added of the unsettling characteristic, “If you don’t blink, you know you can keep the audience mesmerized. It’s not so much not blinking, it’s just being still. Stillness has an economy and a power about it.”

For all the details on Netflix’s “The Killer,” click here.

Leave a comment