Michael Shannon is arguably one of the finest actors of this generation. While most people know him for his work in Revolutionary Road and Boardwalk Empire, Shannon is currently starring as Producer Felix Artifex in Craig Wright’s Mistakes Were Made at the Barrow Street Theatre in New York City.
So much of great acting is what the actor does between the lines. Most of this play involves Shannon listening and responding to someone on the other end of the phone. Shannon juggles phone calls from the writer, the actor, agents, the theater owner, the director, costume designer, his ex-wife, and a Middle Eastern thug. The audience never sees any of these eight people in the play, but Shannon somehow gives them specificity through these conversations.
As an actor, I feel privileged to be able to watch Shannon at work in such an intimate setting. His talent and work ethic are unparalleled. I got a chance to talk to him after the play. He couldn’t have been a nicer guy and was genuinely interested as to how I received the play. He also was kind enough to shed some light on his rehearsal process.