Michael Fassbender was "salivating" at the prospect of appearing in 'The Killer'.

The 46-year-old actor plays the lead role in the new thriller from director David Fincher and felt it was the perfect picture to end his four-year absence from the big screen.

In an interview that took place before the SAG-AFTRA strike, Michael told Empire magazine: "This is the type of film I was salivating to do. There's suspense and intrigue. A slow drip. I love that kind of movie."

Michael stars as an assassin who finds himself on the run from his employers when a job goes wrong and he spent time researching real killers to get himself prepared for the part.

He explained: "There's just trying to understand the mind of a sociopath. I try and put together a lifespan, to where the character is now."

Fincher demands plenty from his leading men and was impressed with the way Fassbender combined acting ability and discipline during the making of 'The Killer' – which is based on a French graphic novel series of the same name and also features Charles Parnell and Tilda Swinton in the cast.

The 'Fight Club' filmmaker said: "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's like Daniel Craig (star of Fincher's film 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo') in that way, saying, 'I can do better.' Tell him to stop 1/3 inch shorter and he can fine-tune that technical stuff, while on top of that he's got really good ideas about behaviour.

"He has this gift as an actor, but clamped on top of it is this incredible discipline about how he subdivides his next move."