Michael Shannon: “For me the thought of trying to be in character all the time makes me very tired”

michael-shannon-the-icemanI’m sure I’m not the only one, but Michael Shannon playing the villain has me more interested in Man of Steel than anything else.  That’s because ever since I saw Take Shelter and started watching Boardwalk Empire Michael Shannon has become one of my favorite actors.  In an interview with the San Diego Reader, Shannon speaks about his early career, whether or not he believes in staying in-character on set, and is very open about his motivation to take roles.

Shannon credits his early days working in the Chicago theater scene as forming his ability as an actor.  He explains, “My experience in Chicago in general was my formative experience. Chicago is where I learned how to act.I did three shows at Steppenwolf. The first time I ever got hired at Steppenwolf was a really big deal. That’s king of the highest level you can get, Steppenwolf or the Goodman.  I also worked in a number of storefront theatres over the years. I’m a member of a theatre there called Red Orchid Theatre in Old Town. Chicago is a great place to learn how to act. In New York and L.A. the stakes are always so high and people are always trying to make it big or break into the business. In Chicago it’s a little more mellow, people who really want to do theatre, want to experiment and try new things out. It’s not so expensive, either.”

Though known for his intense performances, Shannon confesses that he doesn’t believe in staying in character once the cameras aren’t filming.  He explains, “For me the thought of trying to be in character all the time makes me very tired. It seems like it would take a lot of energy. I’m very much into energy conservation. I try to conserve as much energy as possible so that when I’m in front of the camera, whatever energy I manage to have is captured on film. I hate doing great things that nobody is ever going to see. That being said, I’m not like a big Chatty Cathy or anything. I don’t like to make small talk, but I’m not sitting there writing with a quill pen or something.”

And while Shannon might be on a hot streak of quality right now, he is honest in a way that almost no big name actor is: he admits he’s motivated by his paycheck.  He reveals, “I’m willing to do anything. If someone wanted to cast me in The Smurfs Part 4, if they gave me enough money I would do it. It’s not like I’m on some mission to scare the shit out of everybody. You send me a script, it’s decent, and you’re willing to pay me enough money, I’ll do it.”

That’s good to know, but I think Shannon as Gargamel would cause nightmares for millions of children worldwide.

Leave a Reply

http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/Linnea-Berthelsen-Stranger-Things.jpg
Linnea Berthelse on Her ‘Stranger Things’ Audition and Keeping Her Role a Secret for a Year
“Sometimes when actors don’t get the part, it’s not always about an actor being a bad actor; it’s about connecting to the material.” – Linnea Berthelsen Stranger Things is back on our screens with its second season, something fans have been waiting for ever since season one arrived on Netflix in 2016. Returning to the […]
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/jonathan-groff-hamilton.jpg
Jonathan Groff on Playing King George III in ‘Hamilton’: “I rehearsed for about a day, and then went into the show”
Can you even imagine stepping into a role in one of the biggest Broadway hits of all time with barely any time to prepare?
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/lina-esco-swat.jpg
Lina Esco on Playing the Only Female Officer on ‘S.W.AT.’: “I have to portray her as someone equal to all of the guys on her team”
"The important thing for me when I read scripts is how much respect I have for the character and how far I can take her" - Lina Esco
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/sam-rockwell-three-billboards.jpg
Sam Rockwell on Typecasting and One of His Worst Auditions
"I’m kind of a workhorse. It takes a toll" - Sam Rockwell
http://www.dailyactor.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/10/rachel-bloom-crazy-ex-girlfriend.jpg
Rachel Bloom: “The way that I learned comedy was not rigid, but this very specific technique taught by the Upright Citizens Brigade”
"I went from being a person who was doing moderately successful videos online and working as a moderately successful TV writer and aspiring to do this to having a Golden Globe." - Rachel Bloom