Michael Fassbender & Brad Pitt: Bromance Brewing?

10/10/2013 at 12:30 PM EDT

Michael Fassbender & Brad Pitt: Bromance Brewing?
Brad Pitt (left) and Michael Fassbender
Vivien Killilea/Getty

Brad Pitt

Brad Pitt

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."

In addition to The Counselor, the Irish-German actor reteams with his Basterds costar in the Oscar-buzzy movie 12 Years a Slave, opening Oct. 18.

"After we first worked together, he was talking to a lot of people in Hollywood about me, and I really thank him for doing that," says the brooding X-Men and Shame star.

"Brad not only supported me, but he also encouraged and helped other young talent. He is one of those guys that we need in the industry."

Fassbender adds, "12 Years a Slave wouldn't have happened without Brad and his company, Plan B. I'm very grateful that he became a part of it."

Now that the two hunks have become close professional colleagues, is there a possible bromance brewing between them?

"I don't know about that, because he never returns my phone calls or emails," Fassbender joked. "I've been following him ever since. I'm trying to get involved in any film he's doing so I can be with him!"

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