Five Times Michael Shannon Showed Up and Made Everything Better
Not every actor can convincingly play gangsters, Kryptonian warlords and a strung-out Nixon-era Elvis Presley, but somehow, Michael Shannon has found a way. This week, the Take Shelter star appears with Kate Hudson in the new movie A Little White Lie, about a random dude who gets mistaken for a reclusive literary genius.
In addition to his acclaimed starring roles, we’d argue that some of Shannon’s best performances happened when he unexpectedly popped up in goofy comedies, such as…
‘They Came Together’
Shannon shows up at the very end of David Wain’s rom-com parody as Amy Poehler’s sword-wielding, fresh-out-of-jail ex-husband “Spike” who immediately challenges Paul Rudd to a fight. He is only on-screen for about a minute (before being casually shot in the face by a cop), but still, he makes a big impact.
‘The Night Before’
We’ve previously extolled the virtues of this underrated drug-filled holiday film, and Shannon’s deadpan performance as the cosmically mysterious, ultimately angelic, drug dealer “Mr. Green” is probably the best part.
Yeah, you read that entry title right. Best remembered as the movie that tricked us into thinking that we were seeing a family movie about a talking kangaroo, not a gritty caper about stolen mob money featuring a kangaroo with absolutely zero rapping skills, Kangaroo Jack is not a good movie. Still, a highlight of this mostly dreary project is a young Shannon chewing up scenery as gangster Frankie Lombardo.
Nineteen-year-old Shannon made his screen debut as a young, memorably excitable Wrestlemania fan in Groundhog Day. Presumably, the chance to star in a future classic was worth being subjected to the random dickery of Bill Murray.
‘At Home With Amy Sedaris’
Sedaris’ gonzo lifestyle show At Home With Amy Sedaris featured many celebrity guest stars (like Michael Cera as the seductive “ham boy”), including Shannon, who showed up a number of times, playing everything from an unhinged potential suitor…
…to a movie star “war hero,” honored at a neighborhood game night for his fake service (“It’s just as hard as the real thing”).
Although, in retrospect, Shannon’s finest work may be his long history of shitting on Donald Trump in interviews.
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