Michael Fassbender was supposed to be nominated for an Oscar for Shame. He just was. He wasn’t. But now he’s back with two films that could bag him a golden Statuette: 12 Years a Slave – by Shame director, Steve McQueen – and The Counselor, by Ridley Scott.

Michael FassbenderMichael Fassbender in 12 Years a Slave

It’s the former that has the biggest chance of propelling Fassbender into the Academy’s thoughts. The slavery epic has been hailed from all corners of the press, with critics calling it “easily the greatest feature film ever made about American slavery.” (The New Yorker).

Like many seasoned pros, though, Fassbender isn’t getting his hopes up, and he certainly won’t be campaigning for the gong, but not through any defamatory strop following 2012’s snub, but because he’s busy, doing his job. "[Campaigning is] just not going to happen, because I'll be in New Zealand.

"I'll be on the other side of the world," Fassbender told GQ. "You know, I get it. Everybody's got to do their job. So you try and help and facilitate as best you can. But I won't put myself through that kind of situation again." “That situation” refers to when Fassbender’s performance in Shame was a ‘dead cert’ for a nom, if not a win in the Best Actor category.

2012 was the year of The Artist, as the black & white silent film took the film world by storm. It won five Oscars, including Best Director for Michel Hazanavicius, Best Actor for Jean Dujardin and Best Picture.

Michael Fassbender and Brad PittMichael Fassbender and Brad Pitt in Ridley Scott's The Counselor

“At the beginning people [say], 'You're going to be going to the Oscars,' and you're like, 'Whatever, doesn't matter, don't think so,'" Fassbender told GQ writer Chris Heath in 2012. "But after a while it does penetrate. After a while you're like, 'Anyway, so I'm going to the Oscars.' And you start to believe it. And I did. I thought I was going. And then I found out I wasn't and I was upset. I was very upset by it. The first reaction was 'What the fuck…?'”

It’s an incredibly tight Academy selection this year, with the stars and directors involved in Blue Jasmine, The Monuments Men, Gravity, Captain Phillips, August: Osage County and 12 Years a Slave all viable candidates for a number of awards.