It can be argued that Michael Shannon is one of the most underrated actors working today. With a string of impressive turns spanning the last couple decades, Shannon has taken on blockbusters (Man of Steel), haunting indies (The Iceman, 99 Homes) and out of the box comedies (The Night Before).
His latest performance as a desperate father in Midnight Special, is understated yet emotional. The sci-fi drama marks the Oscar-nominated star’s fourth collaboration with director Jeff Nichols. The two previously worked together on the acclaimed Shotgun Stories, Take Shelter and Mud.
Shannon stars as Roy, who goes to great lengths to protect his son (Jaeden Lieberher) – a boy with special powers who is being hunted by the government and a religious cult. Joel Edgerton, Kirsten Dunst and Adam Driver round out the film’s impressive cast.
A low-budget gem, the throwback flick is uniquely unpredictable and gripping. It features a muted tone and backdrop that allows the performances to drive the story. With a largely cryptic storyline, Midnight Special leaves much to the imagination and a great deal for the audience to interpret.
In my video interview with Shannon – the actor spoke about his kinship with Nichols, bringing his character to the surface with little dialogue and how he chose what to convey to the audience and what to keep to himself. Shannon also touched on what phase in his career took him to the next level:
● On why he and Nichols collaborate so well.
● His ability to convey emotion quietly without hugely dramatic moments.
● What he considers a significant stepping stone in his distinguished career.
● Being part of a project that’s ambiguous and relies on the audience to bring their own ideas to the table.