The Province spoke with Michael Shannon and they had a talk about his upcoming portrayal of General Zod in Zack Snyder’s Superman movie, Man of Steel. Here are some excerpts from the interview:
Can you tell me anything about the movie you’re making now?
Man of Steel? It’s about Superman, I can tell you that. It’s pretty hush-hush, it’s a reboot going back to the origins of Superman.
I met one of your predecessors as General Zod, Terence Stamp, and he said the one thing he remembered about that Superman was the wire work. He was taking pilates decades later for back problems after he’d been haning in a harness for hours on that movie.
Unfortunately for Mr. Stamp, they didn’t have CGI back then. I’m being spared a lot of drudgery that he had to endure. From time to time I’m in a harness, but I don’t think anywhere near as much as he was. It’s no secret that a lot of the film is going to be assisted by computer designed animation.
Compare that kind of work to something like Take Shelter or Revolutionary Road – acting on a green screen, with the knowledge that your performance is going to be augmented by CG, as opposed acting in a room with a couple of lights and a couple of actors.
I guess it can be frustrating not having those tactile elements around you, being surrounded by the green, but you’re always trying to tell a story and be honest and you use your imagination regardless of whether there’s a set or not. In a way it’s even more childlike (with CG) because you’re really relying solely on your imagination, like a little kid in the yard who doesn’t have any props, just inventing something out of thin air. That’s the original impulse for it all to begin with, I think.