Michael Shannon was just cast as iconic villain General Zod in Zack Snyder's Superman reboot, and here are five things you may not know about him:
1. He got his start in theater.
Acting since 16, he appeared in several Chicago theater productions, before hitting New York in the off-Broadway production Bug in 2004. He played a deeply disturbed Iraq veteran. Shannon reprised the role in a 2006 film adaptation with Ashley Judd and Harry Connick, Jr.
2. He’s been nominated for an Oscar.
He scored a Best Supporting Actor Academy Award nomination for 2008’s Revolutionary Road, playing Kathy Bates’ oddball son. "I didn't expect it at all," he has said of his surprise nod. "I didn't think I had a prayer really just because of what had been happening with other awards programs, the Golden Globes, the SAG Awards. I didn't have a track record of being nominated, but I knew Paramount had been working very hard on it."
3. He’s on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.
He plays the role of Federal Prohibition agent Nelson Van Alden. “It’s such an extremely different person from me,” Shannon has said.
4. 5. He counts James Franco as one of his fans.
Franco, who recently cast Shannon as poet Hart Crane's lover in one of his short films, The Broken Tower, has said: "You can put Mike in almost any situation, and it feels genuine. He is the kind of actor other actors look to because he possesses great depth and mysteriousness. I think he can do anything."
5. Zack Snyder thought he was ‘perfect’ for the Superman villain.
In a statement announcing his cast, Snyder said: "Zod is not only one of Superman's most formidable enemies, but one of the most significant because he has insights into Superman that others don't. Michael is a powerful actor who can project both the intelligence and the malice of the character, making him perfect for the role."