Michael Shannon is a renowned American actor and musician. He is popular for his work in films such as 'Nocturnal Animals' for which he was nominated for an Oscar. He also earned an Oscar nomination for his supporting role in the film 'Revolutionary Road'. Shannon first came to prominence with his role in the drama film '8 Mile'. The film was based on the early life of the famed rapper Eminem and his upbringing. It was a huge success and also won an Oscar. He then played a significant role in the superhero film 'Man of Steel' which featured the popular D.C. Comics superhero 'Superman'. The film was commercially successful. He has also appeared in the biographical crime thriller film 'The Iceman'. Based on the life of the notorious hit-man Richard Kuklinski, the film starred Shannon in the lead role. He is also popular for playing one of the main roles in the crime drama TV series ‘Boardwalk Empire’. The show earned critical acclaim and won twenty Emmy Awards. He has acted in numerous plays as well. He received a nomination for the Tony award for his performance in 'Long Day's Journey into Night'.
Childhood & Early Life
Michael Corbett Shannon was born on 7th August 1974 in Lexington, Kentucky, United States as the only son of Donald Sutherlin Shannon, an accounting professor at DePaul University, and Geraldine Hine, a lawyer.
Shannon was raised in Lexington, Kentucky, as well as Chicago, Illinois. He developed an interest in acting during his school days. However, he never attended drama school. Initially he wanted to become an architect or a jazz musician.
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Michael Shannon's first appearance on the big screen was in the film 'Groundhog Day' where he played a small role in 1993. Around the same time, he also started performing in theatre. He appeared in plays such as 'Killer Joe' and 'Bug.'
His popularity grew over the next few years as he starred in several films, such as 'Chain Reaction' (1996), 'Jesus' Son' (1999), 'The Photographer' (2000), 'Pearl Harbor' (2001), and 'High Crimes' (2002). His role in '8 Mile', a 2002 drama film about the life of Eminem was much appreciated.
He continued to appear in several films over the ensuing years, in main roles as well as supporting ones in films like 'Grand Theft Parsons' (2003), 'The Woodsman', (2004), 'World Trade Centre' (2006) and 'Let's Go to Prison' (2006). He received an Oscar nomination for his role in the 2008 romantic drama film 'Revolutionary Road'. Directed by Sam Mendes, the film was a commercial success and earned several awards and nominations.
He next played the lead role in the 2009 movie 'My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?' It received mixed reviews from critics. The following year, he started appearing in the crime drama TV series 'Boardwalk Empire' in a main role. It was based on the life of Enoch L. Johnson. The series earned much popularity and acclaim and won numerous awards including twenty Emmy Awards.
In 2011, he played the lead role in the psychological thriller film 'Take Shelter'. He portrayed a young husband and father who gets apocalyptic dreams, leading to a lot of chaos and confusion. The following year, he played a main role the action thriller film 'Premium Rush'. It was a commercial failure. In 2012, he played the lead role in the biographical crime thriller 'The Iceman'. It was based on the life of notorious killer Richard Kuklinski.
He played an important role in the 2013 movie 'Man of Steel' which featured the popular superhero 'Superman'. Shannon portrayed the main antagonist General Zod, whose goal is the ultimate destruction of the human race. The film was a commercial success. In the following years he appeared in movies, such as 'Young Ones' (2014), '99 Homes' (2014) and 'The Night Before' (2015).
He starred in several films in 2016, such as 'Frank & Lola', 'Wolves', and 'Salt and Fire'. He also played a supporting role in the film 'Nocturnal Animals, for which he earned his second Oscar nomination. His most recent films include the 2017 films ' The Current War' and 'Pottersville'.
Besides being an actor, Shannon is also a musician. He formed a rock band named ‘Corporal’ in 2002. They released their self-titled debut album in 2010. They have also released two tracks ‘Glory’ and ‘Obama’.
‘Revolutionary Road’ a 2008 British-American romantic drama film is one of the most important works in Shannon’s career. Directed by Sam Mendes, the film was based on a 1961 novel of the same name. It starred Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Michael Shannon, Kathy Bates and David Harbour. The film was a commercial success and earned more than twice its budget. The film was nominated for three Oscars, including one for Shannon for ‘Best Supporting Actor’.
Another significant work in Shannon’s career was the 2013 superhero film ‘Man of Steel’. Directed by Zack Snyder, the film featured the popular DC Comics superhero Superman. The film told the story of Clark Kent, who upon realizing that he is actually a super-powered alien, takes up a mission to save humanity. Shannon portrayed General Zod, the main antagonist whose goal is to destroy mankind. The film was a huge commercial success and won multiple awards as well.
Shannon played an important role in ‘Nocturnal Animals’, a 2016 American psychological thriller film, which was directed by Tom Ford. The film starred Amy Adams, Jack Gyllenhall, Michael Shannon, Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Isla Fisher. The film was an average success, grossing $30 million on a $22 million budget. It was met with mixed reviews from critics. The film earned several awards and nominations. Shannon was nominated for an Oscar for his outstanding performance.
Awards & Achievements
Michael Shannon has earned several awards in his career. Some of them are the ‘Chicago Film Critics Association Award’ for Best Actor for his role in the movie ‘Take Shelter’ in 2011 and a ‘Screen Actors Guild Award’ for ‘Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble’for his work in the TV series ‘Boardwalk Empire’ in 2012.
Shannon’s work in the film ‘Revolutionary Road’ earned him an Oscar nomination for ‘Best Supporting Actor’. He was nominated for another Oscar for ‘Best Supporting Actor’ for his performance in the film ‘Nocturnal Creatures’.
Michael Shannon lives with his partner Kate Arrington, an American actress, in New York City. They have two daughters named Sylvie and Marion.
Shannon is quite vocal about his political views. He has been a longtime supporter of Barack Obama. In 2016, he expressed how much he disliked Donald Trump, as well as the people who voted for him.