Michael Fassbender & Brad Pitt: Bromance Brewing?

For Michael Fassbender, meeting and working with Brad Pitt on 2009’s Inglourious Basterds was a life-changing experience.

“Brad is a wonderful human being who has a generous soul,” Fassbender, 36, told PEOPLE at Wednesday’s Cinema Society and Emporio Armani screening of his new film The Counselor in New York. “I have a lot of reasons to thank him. He has always been a real champion for me.”

Brad Pitt's Rep: Tom Cruise Slam Didn't Happen

Last week’s widely picked-up statement attributed to Brad Pitt, unfavorably comparing his WII movie Inglourious Basterds to Tom Cruise’s star vehicle Valkyrie, was not only “inaccurate,” Pitt’s manager tells PEOPLE, but “Brad has never even seen Valkyrie.”

The uncharacteristically harsh remark was originally published in a wide-circulation weekly German magazine, and, as could be expected, was reprinted internationally. Problem was, it was never uttered.

Brad Pitt Brought Home Inglourious Spirit

Brad Pitt had no trouble getting into the good ol’ boy spirit of his WWII Tennessee hillbilly lieutenant screen character at Monday night’s Hollywood premiere of director Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds.

Asked at Grauman’s Chinese Theater if he ever took his role home and do it for his kids, Pitt– who plays Aldo “The Apache” Raine, leader of a troop of eight against the Nazis – told PEOPLE: “I did! I’d tell those little ‘basterds’ to get out there and start scalpin’!”