It was a film about his homeland’s troubled history that saw Michael Fassbender come to the attention of Hollywood.
The Irish actor played IRA hunger striker Bobby Sands in Steve McQueen’s 2008 film Hunger.
To get in character he went on a drastic diet, said to consist of grapes and berries, and dropped to nine stone.
Born to a German father and Irish mother, he grew up in Ireland and is now based in London.
In an early example of perhaps taking method acting too literally, he almost slept through his first TV acting job when he fell asleep on the operating table while playing a patient in Holby City.
In the years since Hunger, he has gone on to star as Magneto in X-Men: First Class, and Macbeth in the Shakespeare classic when it came to the big screen last year, among other blockbusters.
The 38-year-old is no stranger to the Oscars, having previously been nominated for his supporting role in another McQueen movie, 12 Years A Slave.
Fassbender has credited the director - whose film Shame he also starred in - with changing his life, saying they are “on the same page, we see things in the same light and we want to take risks and stretch boundaries’’.
But it is his portrayal of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs that has earned him a nod for the best actor Oscar.
He will compete against Bryan Cranston, Matt Damon, Leonardo DiCaprio and Eddie Redmayne for the title.
Steve Jobs director Danny Boyle has described Fassbender as “uncompromising and ferociously focused”, saying he possessed similar qualities to Jobs - making him right for the role.