Lexington’s Michael Shannon nominated for an Oscar
Lexington native Michael Shannon was nominated for an Academy Award Thursday for best supporting actor for his performance in Revolutionary Road.
Shannon’s competition is stiff, including Josh Brolin for Milk, Robert Downey Jr. for Tropic Thunder, 2005 best actor winner Philip Seymour Hoffman for Doubt and the late Heath Ledger for The Dark Knight. Ledger posthumously won the Golden Globe Award for his performance on Jan. 11, and Shannon was a bit of a surprise pick since he had not been a Globe nominee.
Louisville native Gus Van Sant was also received an Oscar nomination for directing Milk, a best picture nominee too.
Despite a strong showing in the Globes’ field, Shannon’s nomination was one of only three Oscar nods for the film, and the only major category pick. Revolutionary Road‘s other nominations were for art direction and costume design. Kate Winslet won a Globe for her performance in the film, but in the Oscar race, her lone nomination is for best actress in The Reader.
Revolutionary Road opens in Lexington Friday at the Fayette Mall and Hamburg Pavilion cinemas.
On the Today show, Entrertainment Weekly writer Dave Karger cheered the nomination for Shannon, calling his turn as a mentally disturbed man, “a fantastic performance.”
We talked to Shannon Monday, and asked him about the possibility of being an Oscar nominee:
“I’ve spent a lot of time the last few months having people tell me I did a nice job and they think I’m pretty good at acting and stuff,” Shannon says. Reflecting on three days he spent last week in Peru filming with acclaimed director Werner Herzog, he said, “Then I went down and got back to actually trying to make something work, and I felt a little rusty.
“It’s nice to have a performance recognized, but you’re only as good as your last thing, and you’ve gotta keep pushing yourself. You can’t get lazy, because then it can all disappear.”
That hardly seems to be a danger at this point in Shannon’s career. Right now, he has two films premiering at the Sundance Film Festival, Missing Person and The Greatest, and he is currently filming an Orestian drama, My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done?, with Herzog.
Shannon attended Henry Clay High School and started his acting career on the stage, including stops at Actors Theatre of Louisville and the legendary Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago. His film career has been marked by small but memorable roles such as Dave Karnes, an ex-Marine who spontaneously put on his uniform and walked into the destruction of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001, in Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center. Revolutionary Road‘s John Givings, the only character to cheer Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet’s plan to chuck their 1950s suburban lifestyle and move to Paris, falls in line with that resume. But Shannon has also turned in lead performances, including playing opposite fellow Kentuckian Ashley Judd in last year’s Bug. Missing Person and My Son are lead performances.
This is his first major award nomination.
Read more about Shannon here. (Includes audio of interview with Michael Shannon.)
6 Responses to “Lexington’s Michael Shannon nominated for an Oscar”
He really deserves the nom, but there’s no way he’ll take the Oscar from Ledger. I was glad to read more about Shannon on your blog because I thought his was the finest performance of the film – he was better and sharper than Kate and Leo, really. He was just terrific.
It’s nice to know someone locally has made it…will look forward to seeing his other films. It sounds like he has the work ethic to continue to be successful and although it sounds trite, IT IS an honor just to be nominated for an Oscar.
Christina January 22nd, 2009 at 10:48 am
Nice to see that Michael has gotten a nomination after doing so many supporting rolls in major motion pictures and on stage. I met Shannon in high school while we were attending Lexington Children’s Theatre’s summer camp. Although brooding and quiet, we could all tell he had the drive it would take. Let’s hope an Oscar win will lead to more leading roles!
He was GREAT in Bug! I haven’t seen Revolutionary Road but congrats to him, that is a marvelous accomplishment…
[...] Click here for our story and interview with Shannon about Revolutionary Road and his upcoming projects. [...]
Charles Pogue February 22nd, 2009 at 10:42 am
I had no idea that Shannon was from Lexington. But when I saw his terrific performance in Revolutionary Road, I said to my wife, there’s Best Supporting Actor…and my opinion hasn’t changed. Philip Seymour Hoffman actually should have been in the Best Actor category. And while all the other performances in the category are perfectly fine, Shannon’s performance stood out. Sadly, Hollywood will probably go for sentiment in both the Best Actor category with Mickey Rourke and Best Supporting Actor category with Heath Ledger. I’d much prefer Frank Langella and Michael Shannon respectively.
Interesting that Shannon had to choose between Tracy Letts’ AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY and REVOLUTIONARY ROAD, I just saw it in London a few weeks ago (it was brilliant) and I’m feeling a real six degrees of seperation, as one of my oldest theatrical colleagues, Deanna Dunagan was in it and won a Tony for the play. I’ll have to ask her if she knows Mr. Shannon?
About Rich Copley & Copious Notes
Raised by opera-loving parents in a rock ’n’ roll world, Rich Copley has parlayed his broad interests into his career writing about arts and entertainment. Since 1998, he has covered performing arts, film and faith-based popular culture for the Lexington Herald-Leader, the daily newspaper in Lexington, Ky. MORE | E-mail Rich