Michael Shannon, Deauville Talent Award


Cred­it­ed with over 100 films and series and thou­sands of the­atri­cal per­for­mances, a two-time Deauville Fes­ti­val attendee with Jeff Nichols’ Take Shel­ter (2011) and Ramin Bahrani’s 99 Homes (2015), two Grand Prize-win­ning films, Michael Shan­non has from the out­set been the antithe­sis of the Hol­ly­wood actor, a cen­trifu­gal force, both geo­graph­i­cal­ly and artis­ti­cal­ly. Avid for expe­ri­ence, his quest has been not for seduc­tion or the norm, but for the unique­ness and unease that make his char­ac­ters so rich.

He grew up in Lex­ing­ton, Ken­tucky and began his pro­fes­sion­al stage career in Chica­go, Illi­nois. He also kept busy in front of film and tele­vi­sion cam­eras, most notably in the big screen project Chica­go Cab (1997), based on the long-run­ning stage play Hellcab.
With over eighty roles in film, Shan­non’s cred­its include Rian Johnson’s Knives Out (2019), Alfon­so Gomez-Rejon’s The Cur­rent War (2017), My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (2009), The Bad Lieu­tenant: Port of Call — New Orleans (2009) and Salt and Fire (2016), all of them direct­ed by Wern­er Her­zog, Matthew M. Ross’ Frank & Lola (2016), Liza Johnson’s Elvis & Nixon (2016), Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel (2013), Ariel Vromen’s The Ice­man (2012), Liza John­son’s Return (2010), Flo­ria Sigis­mondi’s The Run­aways, Syd­ney Lumet’s Before the Dev­il Knows You’re Dead (2007), Oliv­er Stone’s World Trade Cen­ter (2006), Cur­tis Han­son’s Lucky You (2007) and 8 Mile (2002), William Fried­kin’s Bug (2006), Michael Bay’s Bad Boys II (2003) and Pearl Har­bor (2001), and Cameron Crowe’s Vanil­la Sky (2001).
Most notably, Shan­non gar­nered crit­i­cal acclaim for his Oscar nom­i­nat­ed sup­port­ing role in Rev­o­lu­tion­ary Road, play­ing John Giv­ings, the psy­cho­log­i­cal­ly trou­bled neigh­bor’s son. Direct­ed by Sam Mendes and adapt­ed by Justin Haythe, Shan­non stars oppo­site Leonar­do DiCaprio, Kate Winslet and Kathy Bates. He went on to receive addi­tion­al acclaim for Ramin Bahrani’s time­ly dra­ma 99 Homes, co-star­ring oppo­site Andrew Garfield, Grand Prize win­ner at the 2015 Deauville Amer­i­can Film Fes­ti­val. Set against the back­drop of the eco­nom­ic cri­sis, Shan­non por­trayed Rick Carv­er, a charis­mat­ic and ruth­less real estate tycoon gam­ing the mar­ket and home bank­ing sys­tem. He was nom­i­nat­ed for a Gold­en Globe, Screen Actors Guild, Crit­ics Choice, Gotham Award and Film Inde­pen­dent Spir­it Award on behalf of this per­for­mance. Addi­tion­al acco­lades include Tom Ford’s Noc­tur­nal Ani­mals, oppo­site Jake Gyl­len­haal, Amy Adams and Aaron Tay­lor-John­son. For his per­for­mance, Shan­non received an Acad­e­my Award and Crit­ics Choice nom­i­na­tion. He was also seen in Guiller­mo del Toro’s crit­i­cal­ly acclaimed dra­ma, The Shape of Water, a love sto­ry set against the back­drop of Cold War-era Amer­i­ca. The film co-stars Sal­ly Hawkins, Richard Jenk­ins, Michael Stuhlbarg and Octavia Spencer. The Shape of Water won the Gold­en Lion at the 2017 Venice Film Fes­ti­val, the 2018 Oscar for Best Pic­ture, adding to its tal­ly of 4 Acad­e­my Award wins and 13 nominations.
Shannon’s cred­its also include col­lab­o­ra­tive re-teams with direc­tor Jeff Nichols. He most recent­ly appeared in the dra­ma Lov­ing (2016). His pre­vi­ous col­lab­o­ra­tions with Nichols include TV series Hank the Cow­dog, Mid­night Spe­cial (2016), Take Shel­ter, Grand Prize win­ner at Deauville in 2011 and for which he received a 2011 Film Inde­pen­dent Spir­it Award nom­i­na­tion for Best Actor, as well as Mud (2012) and Shot­gun Sto­ries (2007).
On tele­vi­sion, Shannon’s cred­its include Park Chan-wook’s AMC mini-series, The Lit­tle Drum­mer Girl (2018), Jay and Mark Duplass’ HBO anthol­o­gy series Room 104 (2018), Ramin Bahrani’s HBO film Fahren­heit 451 (2018), Drew and John Erick Dowdle’s Para­mount Net­work lim­it­ed series Waco (2018), as well as Mar­tin Scors­ese’s HBO series, Board­walk Empire (2010−2014).
Out­side of his roles on screen, he main­tains a strong con­nec­tion to the­ater, act­ing in more than twen­ty plays. He was last seen on stage star­ring in Ter­rence McNally’s final pro­duc­tion, the Broad­way revival of “Frankie and John­ny in the Clair de Lune”, which was nom­i­nat­ed for a Tony nom­i­na­tion in the cat­e­go­ry for Best Revival of a Play. In 2018, he direct­ed the world pre­miere of “Trai­tor”, Brett Neveu’s adap­tion of Hen­rik Ibsen’s play “Ene­my of the Peo­ple”, for which he won a Jeff Award in the cat­e­go­ry of Best Direc­tor in a Mid­size Play. “Trai­tor” includ­ed ensem­ble mem­bers Dado, Lar­ry Grimm, Dan­ny McCarthy, Guy Van Swearin­gen, and Natal­ie West.
Most notably, Shan­non was seen on Broad­way co-star­ring along­side Jes­si­ca Lange, Gabriel Byrne, and John Gal­lagher Jr. in “Long Day’s Jour­ney into Night”. Pro­duced by the Round­about The­ater Com­pa­ny and direct­ed by Jonathan Kent, the revival of Eugene O’Neill’s land­mark 1956 dra­ma led Shan­non to a 2016 Tony nom­i­na­tion for Sup­port­ing Actor as well as 2016 Dra­ma Desk Award for Out­stand­ing Fea­tured Actor in a Play. Pri­or to that, he appeared oppo­site Paul Rudd, Ed Asner, and Kate Arring­ton in “Grace” at the Cort The­atre. For his por­tray­al of Sam, a dis­trust­ful and lone­ly com­put­er genius who had recent­ly lost his fiancé in a car acci­dent, Shan­non was nom­i­nat­ed for a 2013 Dis­tin­guished Per­for­mance Dra­ma League Award. He also led Craig Wright’s off-Broad­way play, “Mis­takes Were Made”, at the Bar­row Street The­ater. Direct­ed by Dex­ter Bullard, Shan­non por­trays Felix Artifex, a small-time the­atre pro­duc­er, who gets in way over his fast-talk­ing head when he takes on an epic about the French Rev­o­lu­tion. The play received its world pre­miere at A Red Orchid The­atre in Chica­go in 2009 with the same cast and direc­tor. The crit­i­cal­ly acclaimed pro­duc­tion gar­nered numer­ous acco­lades for Shan­non, includ­ing an Out­stand­ing Lead Actor Lor­tel Award nom­i­na­tion, an Out­stand­ing Actor in a Play Dra­ma Desk Award nom­i­na­tion, an Out­stand­ing Solo Per­for­mance Out­er Crit­ics Award nom­i­na­tion, and a Dis­tin­guished Per­for­mance Dra­ma League Award nomination.
Shan­non will next be seen in the dra­ma series, Nine Per­fect Strangers, along­side Nicole Kid­man, Melis­sa McCarthy, Man­ny Jac­in­to, Tiffany Boone, Luke Evans, Melvin Gregg, Grace Van Pat­ten, Ash­er Ked­die, and Sama­ra Weav­ing. The series, adapt­ed from the book of the same name by Liane Mori­ar­ty, takes place at a bou­tique health-and-well­ness resort that promis­es heal­ing and trans­for­ma­tion as nine stressed city dwellers try to get on a path to a bet­ter way of liv­ing. Shan­non plays the role of Napoleon, one of the nine “per­fect” strangers.
Next year, Shan­non will be seen on the big screen in Michael Mailer’s roman­tic, com­ing-of-age dra­ma, Swing, and Michael Maren’s Shriv­er, oppo­site Kate Hud­son and Don John­son. Shan­non recent­ly wrapped lens­ing David Leitch’s action thriller Bul­let Train along­side Brad Pitt, Aaron Tay­lor-John­son, Zazie Beetz and Andrew Koji. The film is based on the Japan­ese nov­el, “Maria Bee­tle” by Kotaro Isa­ka. Shan­non also fin­ished film­ing the Unti­tled David O’Russell project along­side Chris­t­ian Bale, Mar­got Rob­bie, John David Wash­ing­ton, Rami Malek and Zoe Saldana.

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