Hunger star Michael Fassbender has been reunited with the director "who changed his life" on the red carpet.
Following their previous collaboration on the 2008 drama - Steve McQueen's directorial debut - the duo found themselves teaming up again for the erotic drama Shame, which had its UK premiere at the BFI London Film Festival.
"I like the pain," he quipped about reuniting with the British film-maker, before adding: "The fact of the matter is Steve changed my life.
"I want to keep learning in this game and if I can keep working with people like, and especially, Steve, then I'm happy."
In Shame, which also stars Carey Mulligan, Fassbender, 33, plays a sex addict. His daring performance has already won him the Volpi Cup for best actor at the Venice Film Festival.
"Steve and I have a really good understanding. We are on the same page, we see things in the same light and we want to take risks and stretch boundaries," the actor said.
Turner Prize-winning artist McQueen, 42, said picking his leading man was a no-brainer.
"There was no other actor who could have done something like this. It always comes back to Michael Fassbender," he admitted.
Both insist any Oscars talk is too premature, with the director saying: "It's too early. We just want people to see this."
Shame, written by Abi Morgan and produced by The King's Speech's Iain Canning, opens in cinemas on January 13, 2012.