Michael Shannon plays super villain Zod in the upcoming “Man of Steel,” out this Friday, but he insists that his character is not evil and explains how director Zack Snyder helped him develop the character.
In Snyder’s Superman, Shannon’s character almost explodes onto the scene during his first appearance in the film. Shannon told the Huffington Post, “There’s a reason for everything that he’s doing and it has a lot more to do with his love for Krypton than his hate for anything else.”
Shannon says that his character is purposeful and not an angry psychopath. He told Christopher Reson in an interview, “To me, Zod isn’t giving a performance. Zod is trying to save Krypton. Everything that he does every step of the way in the movie is for that one purpose. He doesn’t care whether you think he’s overacting or under-acting, because he’s not acting. He’s trying to get something done.”
Shannon said he was very impressed with Snyder as a director. He said about him, “Very early on, when we were shooting the Krypton sequence, he had very insightful, thoughtful things to say. . . The dimension that you see in Zod- - a man who is not just a raging psychopath but an actual person- - that all started with Zack.”
Shannon did not talk about how to approach a super villain role with other actors before working on the film. He explained, “I think a lot of actors like their privacy. A lot of the big-time movie stars live on a ranch in the middle of nowhere. When they’re not working, they like to be left alone. I would have no idea how to even get ahold of them.”
He went on to explain how Snyder helped him develop his interpretation of this character who has been played by several great actors. Shannon said, “The approach of questioning why Zod was doing what he was doing? That was usually because Zack was asking me those questions. To Zack, the relationships were really important.” He also said about his character, “I think Zod is typically thought of as a very raged-filled and hateful person. The way we approach it, though, is that he just seems like a desperate person in a desperate situation.”
Watch the trailer for “Man of Steel” here: