Michael Shannon (born 1974) is an American stage, film, and television actor. His best known performances are as John Givings in Revolutionary Road and prohibition agent Nelson Van Alden in Boardwalk Empire.Born in Kentucky to a single mother, he got his first work as an actor on the Chicago stage, at various times working for such theatre companies as Steppenwolf, The Next Lab and the Red Orchid Theatre. He eventually started to get small parts in Hollywood movies, too, notably the Jerry Bruckheimer-produced films Bad Boys 2, Pearl Harbor, and Kangaroo Jack. This visibility (along with his Academy Award nomination for Revolutionary Road) has led to him recieving larger and more acclaimed roles in (mostly independent) films, such as Bug, The Runaways, Before The Devil Knows You're Dead, Bad Lieutenant Port Of Call New Orleans, Shotgun Stories, and Take Shelter.He is best known for his virtuoso ability to play repressed, unstable, and otherwise crazed characters. He has also been compared to Christopher Walken for his ability to completely steal a movie simply by showing up. He played General Zod in the Superman reboot Man of Steel and the legendary Professional Killer Richard Kuklinski in The Iceman.Despite the large number of villainous roles to his name, Shannon is very much known to be a Nice Guy who loves his daughter and has a great sense of humor.
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