Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I'm a Neanderthal in a World of Sci-Fi; One Glance at His CV Clearly Shows Michael Shannon Isn't Work-Shy, but He Prefers to Hover under the Radar When It Comes to Fame. He Tells Gemma Dunn Why'everything Is Science-Fiction'and How Our Reliance on Smartphones Disturbs Him

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

I'm a Neanderthal in a World of Sci-Fi; One Glance at His CV Clearly Shows Michael Shannon Isn't Work-Shy, but He Prefers to Hover under the Radar When It Comes to Fame. He Tells Gemma Dunn Why'everything Is Science-Fiction'and How Our Reliance on Smartphones Disturbs Him

Article excerpt

AY what you like about US actor Michael Shannon, but don't question his dedication.

SHe's on a fleeting visit, having flown into the UK just hours before - to then leave the same afternoon - when we meet. But there's method in his madness, as the Kentucky native explains he's in fact rehearsing for his latest Broadway stint, Long Day's Journey Into Night.

"I'm starring with Jessica Lange. She did the play here in the West End 15 years ago and wanted to do it again, so we're doing it. She's my mum right now."

Shannon is somewhat intense, furrow-browed; the 41-year-old's cinematic reputation precedes him.

Since making his big screen debut in 1993's Groundhog Day, the acclaimed talent has gone on to star in over 40 films, including Revolutionary Road opposite Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, and Zack Snyder's Man Of Steel. But it's his sanity-tipping, pressure-cooker roles he has become synonymous for - such as Curtis in Jeff Nichols' Take Shelter.

He's quick to shut down those who pigeonhole him, however.

"Isn't the idea that you're different people in each of the movies? Sometimes I hear that I play different parts and sometimes people say, 'So you always play the same part.' ".

"It's confusing, but it's part of our culture: everybody describes everything by comparing it to something else."

From his disarmingly deadpan expression to his drawn-out answers, Shannon - dressed in a casual jeans and denim shirt combo - is hard to read, but equally fascinating.

His latest venture - his fourth film with director and friend Nichols (Shotgun Stories, Mud) - is just as ambiguous.

Midnight Special tells the story of Roy (Shannon), a father who is desperate to protect his uniquely gifted eight-year-old son Alton (Jaeden Lieberher).

As the pair go on the run, aided by friend Lucas (Joel Edgerton), and later the child's mother Sarah (Kirsten Dunst), an intense car chase ensues as they are hunted down by a mysterious cult and a clandestine government agency - the outcome of which could bring about a world-changing event.

"Most people have some mystery in their lives, unanswerable questions," declares Shannon. …

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