Michael Shannon: oh my Zod
The latest issue of movieScope features a cover interview with Michael Shannon… conducted by yours truly. The interview appears in its entirety only in print, but the magazine’s site has posted some excerpts, including a bit in which he discusses his experience making Man of Steel. Here it is:
Audiences will next see Shannon take on the decidedly dastardly General Zod in Man of Steel. Zod is a far more cartoonish character, made an icon of evil by Terence Stamp’s villainous performance in 1978’s Superman; yet, while Shannon found this portrayal “truly terrifying as a child”, his influence has been kept to a minimum as the actor attempts to breath as much real life into the character as possible.
“Zod is a general—what a complex and interesting thing to be,” says Shannon. “I mean, generals are fascinating characters. They have so much responsibility. They’re capable of ordering great violence, but in the service of what they see to be the right thing to do. So I just approached it from that point of view.”
“I think one of the reasons I got the job, other than just dumb luck, is that it was really important to them—[screenwriters] Chris Nolan, David Goyer, and [producer] Chuck Roven, and everybody involved—that Zod be less like a pure villainous evil person,” Shannon continues. There’s certainly some twirling of the moustache here and there, because that’s what makes it fun, right? But inherently it’s not schlocky. At least it didn’t feel that way when I was doing it. Maybe I’ll see it and be horrified. I dunno.”
Click over to movieScope for another bit in which Shannon discusses how he chooses his roles.