Actor Michael Shannon is making a big splash in the hit summer movie Man of Steel playing General Zod but his background is even more interesting. He was born in Lexington, Kentucky and was raised there as well as Chicago, Illinois by divorced parents. He then attended New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois.
He became stage actor in Chicago helping to form A Red Orchid Theatre. He then worked with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and Northlight Theatre. He originated the role of Peter Evans in Bug then starred in the film adaptation with Ashley Judd and Harry Connick, Jr. It was written by Steppenwolf ensemble member Tracy Letts.making a big splash in the hit summer movie Man of Steel playing General Zod but his background is even more interesting. He was born in Lexington, Kentucky and was raised there as well as Chicago, Illinois by divorced parents. He then attended New Trier High School in Winnetka, Illinois.
He debuted in the movie Groundhog Day leading to several other roles in Jesus’ Son, Pearl Harbor, 8 Mile, and Vanilla Sky. Revolutionary Road earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
With HBO’s Boardwalk Empire he tackled TV before returning back to Red Orchid once again.
We caught him on the red carpet at Rockit Bar & Grill to hear about his upcoming projects and what it was like battling Superman.
JN: (Jerry Nunn) Hi, Michael. That were intense fight scenes in the Man of Steel. Describe the experience.
MS: (Michael Shannon) There was a lot of training. I trained for months and months by myself then they brought me in and Russell Crowe for the fight we have at the beginning of the film. They also had Antje Traue who plays Faora come in along with Henry Cavill of course so it was just the four of us. We worked for hours and hours in a warehouse in Naperville. We did lots of conditioning and stunt moves.
JN: You are attending Wizard World in Rosemont on August 10. Are you ready for the crazy fans at the signing?
MS: So far people have been very respectful. No one has tried to rip my clothes off or anything. I am just happy people enjoy this. We put a lot of work into it and it is just nice to see people get something out of it.
JN: Talk about the new show at Red Orchid for you. I heard there is a bromance.
MS: It is a play called Simpatico. It is our first Sam Shepherd play. We have been around for 20 years and we are celebrating that anniversary with a play that is also 20 years old. It features a relationship of two old best friends that are played by me and Guy Van Swearingen, who started the company. We have also been friends for 20 years so there is a lot of parallels.
JN: When does the run start?
MS: It opens July 8.
JN: I will have to come check it out!
Visit www.aredorchidtheatre.org for details on the new play. Get your gay geek on with Shannon and Zachary Quinto at the Donald Stephens Convention Center in August with more info at www.wizardworld.com.