Knives Out Michael Shannon

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  • Amazon.com: Knives Out 4K UHD: Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Ana De Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Rian Johnson: Movies & TV.
  • Watch this special announcement from Blood Like Wine Publishing: A Knives Out company. Blood Like Wine: The official publisher of best-selling mystery author.

The first Knives Out was released in November 2019 and starred Craig, Chris Evans, Ana de Armas, Jamie Lee Curtis, Michael Shannon, Toni Collette, Lakeith Stanfield and Christopher Plummer.

Posted on Thursday, January 10th, 2019 by Jack Giroux

Michael Shannon is one of those actors that constantly reminds us there’s no such thing as small parts. No matter the size of the role, his presence will leave an impression, with his sole scene in Loving being one example. Every second matters when Shannon is on screen. The actor, who was last seen on AMC’s The Little Drummer Girl, now stars in Meredith Danluck‘s feature directorial debut, State Like Sleep, an intimate neo-noir with dreamlike sequences.

Walt In Knives Out

Katherine Waterston plays a photographer investigating the death of her husband, and during her journey of grief she crosses paths with Edward, her neighbor at a hotel. Because of the story’s unpredictable tone and genre elements, you’re not quite sure what to expect from Edward at the start, but there’s ultimately a surprising tenderness to his messy relationship with the lead character. Along with Waterston, Shannon makes the movie’s few moments of kindness very impactful.

Recently, Shannon told us about his experience with Waterston and Danluck, in addition to the importance of naps, the apex of his career, a memory from Kangaroo Jack, and some details about Rian Johnson’s Knives Out.

There was quite a bit of time between when you shot State Like Sleep and when you finally saw it, so how was the experience seeing it completed? How are you about watching your work?

Well, I enjoyed watching this one a great deal, because I really like Meredith, her point-of-view, and what she has to say. I also really like Katherine, and I thought she did a great job in the movie. The cast is pretty strong. There’s so many scenes that are just so unusual, like, I had never seen something like that before, you know? This one is fun to watch, but it’d be hard to say in general. I mean, I’m not one of these people who can’t watch themselves. I don’t really care. I don’t sit there and be all uptight about it. It is what is. I think people who are terrified of seeing what they do, I don’t know, I just don’t understand it. It really doesn’t make any sense. I guess, at the end of the day, I look at this as a very collaborative process. There’s a lot of artists involved, and a lot of different kinds of art, all contributing equally. I’m always curious to see what they’ve done, and how their work has impacted the film as a whole.

That always seems like the best attitude for actors to have: viewing themselves as one small piece of the puzzle, even if they’re the star of the movie.

Exactly. If you sit and look at the credits afterwards, you’re like, holy crap, it took a lot of people. It’s a shame, because most people just get up and walk out [at the end of a movie], but most people don’t realize when you’re watching a movie that each and every frame, even the five seconds of me deciding to get up and go get potato chips, there’s so many frickin’ people working on the frame of the film, trying to make it the absolute best. I see that firsthand, so I appreciate watching it.

Most of your scenes in the movie are in a hotel room. Some actors say a movie can feel like a play sometimes, but with all the technical aspects involved, does it ever feel that way for you?

It can, it can. It depends on the location — you’re right about that — and it also depends on how it’s being shot. You know, if someone is trying to do something in a oner and there’s not a lot of coverage, that obviously feels more theatrical than doing a bunch of different angles. To me, there’s nothing as exhilarating as doing theater. There are incredibly tedious aspects of filmmaking that are kind of unavoidable. What was interesting with this film, we were actually staying in the hotel we were shooting at, or at least I was, The Thompson Hotel. It was really surreal.

Do those tedious moments get easier over time? How do you deal with them?

Yeah. You sort of have to figure out how to occupy yourself, you know? The fact of the matter is, on average you can spend 12 hours at work, and if you’re lucky — if you’re lucky — probably two of those hours actually acting, so that leaves you ten hours. Different people handle it different ways. I usually sleep, which I’ve gotten really good at as of late. I just go to sleep. I remember working with Christopher Walken, on Kangaroo Jack all those years ago, he always had a room to go to with a couch to lay down on. One day, I just happened to stumble into the room, and there he was, laying there with his eyes closed. I’ve come to realize how intelligent it is all these years later. At the time, I was like, “Huh?” It’s very wise.

Sometimes people will make comparisons between you two as actors, but have you ever felt a connection with him or has he in any way been an inspiration?

Well, no. Honestly, I think it’d be sacrilegious to say, because he’s kind of in his own universe. I was very moved the first time I was nominated for Revolutionary Road, because that was the first time at the Oscars they were having former winners present the nominees. Remember that?

I do.

So, Christopher Walken gave a little speech about me, and that was probably, in a way, the apex of my life, at least professionally. Everything after that is kind of… I don’t want to say downhill, but I can’t imagine getting more excited. Really, I had an out-of-body experience watching that happen. I know he was just reading off a teleprompter, but I didn’t give a shit.

[Laughs] No, you shouldn’t, that’s an incredible moment. State Like Sleep has a very unpredictable tone, so you really don’t know what to expect from these characters, especially Edward. Did you at all want to try to play with expectations audiences might have about him?

He just made a whole bunch of sense to me right off the bat. I’m never too interested in trying to manipulate people’s expectations. At the end of the day, I feel like that’s a superficial thing to do. Exploring the true nature of humanity in all its complexity and long-headedness sometimes is more interesting. You know, I like that the ending is sweet, but not too sweet. You don’t really know what’s going to happen [after the movie], because that could be the last time those two people ever see each other. I don’t know. Maybe they’ll be friends, or maybe not.

It’s hard for all of us. We have our lives, we have our families, and our significant others, and whatnot. We meet a lot of people, particularly in this line of work. It’s a strange conglomeration of people who have to spend a lot of time with one another for a brief period, and then it’s over and they all disappear. It’s a strange way to live, and it brings out strange impulses in people.

It’s such a finite amount of time to work with people, make friends, and then have to say goodbye and go to the next job. Making those relationships and then having to say bye so fast, is that ever tough?

It can be, but the people I really, really dig and think are super cool, I tend to have a habit of running into them again. Like, Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter) or Liza Johnson (Return) or Ramin Bahrani (99 Homes) or other directors and actors I really like. That’s the good thing — you can make something else, if you really feel simpatico with somebody.

I really hope you and Jeff Nichols make that biker movie one day. Is that something you two have ever talked about doing together?

Cisdem video converter for mac. He talks about it from time to time. He always says he’s not ready. [Pauses] I don’t know what that means, I don’t know why he feels that way. I can tell you, it’s not going to be anytime soon, because he’s about to go off in a whole different direction with something else that’s going to probably monopolize his time for quite a while. Fingers crossed.

Another great director you worked with recently was Rian Johnson. How was your experience on Knives Out?

I had a blast, man, that was so much fun. It’s a murder-mystery movie, and I’ve never done one of those, you know, good old-fashioned kind of Agatha Christie-type things with a big cast. All the characters are kind of eccentric and whatnot. Yeah, it was a lot of fun. Also, Rian is a super, super sweet guy.

You’ve played some eccentric characters before and more grounded characters like Edward. Is one type of character ever more enjoyable to play than the other?

You know, I love every character I play. The only kind I don’t [love] is when the writing makes you go, “This doesn’t make any sense. I don’t understand why this person is doing this or saying this. Please, don’t make me say this.” That’s hard, because then you have to fake it. When you understand what a person is about, whether it’s normal, mean, or nice, that’s irrelevant to me.

Since the year just ended, what movies have stayed with you recently? What did you enjoy watching in 2018?

I thought Widows was real strong. I’m kind of curious, because I don’t think it got a lot of attention. I mean, The Favourite is fantastic, but that’s no surprise, everybody loves that. I was going to watch Vice last night, but I went to a dinner for a benefit type thing, but I’m going to see that. I really want to see that. Won’t You Be My Neighbor? I liked. Also, Free Solo, which was probably the most dramatic movie I’ve seen. You know that one?

I still need to see it.

Oh, dude, you gotta see that movie. Everybody should see that movie.

***

State Like Sleep is now available in limited release and on iTunes.

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By/Nov. 18, 2019 6:18 pm EDT/Updated: Oct. 19, 2020 12:01 pm EDT

After directing critically-acclaimed films like Brick, Looper, and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Rian Johnson turned his attention to the murder mystery genre, giving us the star-studded Knives Out. The movie currently sits at a lofty 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, which is quite the accolade, and Vox's Alissa Wilkinson describes the flick as 'a delightful Agatha Christie-style whodunnit made for 2019 America.'

Perhaps the film's most obvious asset is its wildly talented cast, consisting of former superheroes, super villains, super spies, a few legendary Hollywood superstars, and everything in between. But while watching a murder mystery movie, the only thing you want to be trying to solve is who the killer is, not who the actor or actress playing the killer is and what other films you've seen them in before. So, before you watch the movie, here's a handy who's who for Rian Johnson's whodunnit, Knives Out.

Daniel Craig steals the show as Detective Benoit Blanc

Unless you've been living under a rock for the past decade, chances are good that you're familiar with Daniel Craig and his prestigious body of work. The English actor's breakout role was that of the iconic 00 Agent, James Bond, in 2006's Casino Royale. It was a role that, thanks to multiple sequels (four to date), landed him on Forbes' World's Highest Paid Actors list in 2015. However, the handsome Brit is far from a one-trick pony. Over the years, Craig has excelled in a vast array of genres, ranging from dramas like 2002's Oscar-winning Road to Perdition to comedies like 2017's Logan Lucky. He's certainly come a long way from playing a love-struck stableboy in Disney's mid-'90s medieval stinker, A Kid in King Arthur's Court.

In Knives Out, Craig plays Benoit Blanc, a private detective brought on to investigate the apparent suicide of a famous crime novelist. Craig was actually the first actor to sign on to the project, and he was apparently flattered to have been offered the part. As he explained to Cinema Blend, 'I hadn't read something like that [screenplay] before, and I was just over the moon that he [Johnson] offered it to me.' With a lead like Craig, it's no mystery why so many critics are crazy about Knives Out.

Chris Evans stars as Ransom Drysdale

Agatha Christie lovers .. assemble! Although the MCU's Captain America obviously won't be making an appearance in Johnson's murder mystery, Chris Evans, who's played the star-spangled Avenger several times since 2011's Captain America: The First Avenger, will be. The Boston-bred hunk has flexed his dramatic ability in films like Before We Go and Gifted, but not as often as he's flexed his impressive physical physique in action flicks like Push, The Losers, and Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.

With an apparent affinity for playing 'the good guy,' Evans has played not one but two different superheroes, first starring as the Human Torch in the Fantastic Four franchise. His role of Ransom Drysdale in Knives Out, however, will be quite the opposite. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Evans explained, 'I'm usually tasked with playing guys who are a little more noble, and this guy is a little bit more vile. It's fun.'

Toni Collette is Joni Thrombey in Knives Out

Although it didn't exactly light up the box office, 1992's The Efficiency Expert, starring acting legends like Anthony Hopkins, Russell Crowe, and even a young Ben Mendelsohn, marked the film debut of Toni Collette. In the decades to come, the Australian actress would enjoy a highly successful career, most evidenced by her massive award-season love.

In 2009, she was cast as the lead role (or, perhaps more appropriately, lead roles) in Showtime's United States of Tara. As Tara, a mother coping with dissociative identity disorder, Collette earned wins at both the Golden Globes and the Emmys. On the big screen, the actress has excelled in dramatic comedies like Little Miss Sunshine and About a Boy. However, she's perhaps most recognized for her work in a pair of iconic horror flicks: 1999's unforgettably twisty The Sixth Sense and 2018's disturbingly dark Hereditary.

In Knives Out, the decorated actress plays Joni Thrombey, a 'lifestyle guru' (drawing obvious inspiration from Gwyneth Paltrow and her company, Goop) and daughter-in-law of murder victim Harlan Thrombey. When speaking to Deadline, Collette showered the murder mystery's script with praise, saying, 'It was all in the writing. In reading it, it just kept opening up and changing, and it was so swift, and so smooth, and so surprising.'

Katherine Langford appears as Meg Thrombey

What Katherine Langford's filmography lacks in quantity, it makes up for in quality. At the ripe age of 20, the young Australian actress landed the role of ill-fated high school student Hannah Baker in the Netflix smash series 13 Reasons Why. Langford stole the show as Hannah, even earning a Golden Globe nominee for her performance. Her newfound stardom landed her parts in two movies in 2018, The Misguided and Love, Simon.

Although she'd previously worked with some fairly big names, such as Jennifer Garner and Josh Duhamel, Langford was admittedly quite starstruck when seeing her Knives Out co-stars in action. Talking with Yahoo! TV, Langford said, 'I get so in awe of everyone. .. I've watched all of these people.' While sharing the screen with A-listers like Daniel Craig and Chris Evans must've been incredible, the young starlet, who plays Meg Thrombey in the whodunnit, went on to specifically give praise to her fellow Aussie actress. 'Toni Collette, who plays my mom in this film, she's a legend in her own right. To work a lot with her is amazing, and to work with everyone is amazing.'

Knives Out features Michael Shannon as Walt Thrombey

Michael Shannon has quietly evolved into one of the most well-rounded actors in Hollywood. The two-time Oscar-nominated actor has appeared in a plethora of movies over the past 20 years, ranging from action blockbusters to dramatic thrillers. The first movie he ever popped up in was actually 1993's classic comedy, Groundhog Day, but he's really made much more of a name for himself in serious roles, such as the mentally disturbed John Givings in 2008's Revolutionary Road.

You might also recognize Shannon from parts he played in films throughout the 2000s, including Vanilla Sky, 8 Mile, and Bad Boys II. He's given notable performances for director Jeff Nichols in movies like Take Shelter andMidnight Special, and on HBO's Boardwalk Empire, he portrayed Nelson Van Alden, an agent for the Bureau of Prohibition. He even went toe-to-toe with Henry Cavill's Superman as General Zod in 2013's Man of Steel.

In Knives Out, the Kentucky-bred actor plays Walt Thrombey, the new CEO of his father's publishing house. In an interview with Slash Film, Shannon mentioned how great it was to work with Rian Johnson on the set, saying, 'I had a blast, man, that was so much fun. .. Also, Rian is a super, super sweet guy.' Having a sweet boss must be a major plus on a movie production.

Ana de Armas is playing Marta Cabrera

Although her official acting debut came in a Spanish film in 2006, Ana de Armas' Hollywood career really started in 2015, starring alongside Keanu Reeves as Bell in the dark thriller Knock Knock. After that, she played Miles Teller's girlfriend, Iz, in War Dogs, and then the holographic Joi in the trippy Blade Runner 2049.

Although she's starring alongside Daniel Craig in 2020's new Bond film, No Time to Die, the gorgeous Cuban starlet first shared the screen with him in Knives Out. As Marta Cabrera, the recently deceased Harlan Thrombey's live-in nurse, de Armas is one of the prime murder suspects. But while de Armas admittedly had a wonderful experience on set, shooting in Boston had one particular downside. As she explained, 'It was my first time in Boston. It was freezing, for a Cuban especially.' The actress may have been cold, but is she actually Knives Out's cold-blooded killer?

Jamie Lee Curtis is showing up as Linda Drysdale

Jamie Lee Curtis is truly an American treasure. The California-raised actress has appeared in so many films and TV shows through the years that it's hard to keep track of them all. If you're a horror fan, you probably know her best as Laurie Strode in John Carpenter's Halloween franchise. However, she's so much more than a scream queen. Curtis has starred in action classics like True Lies, kids' movies like Freaky Friday, and a slew of feel-good comedies, including My Girl and You Again.

With an ensemble cast as star-studded as that of Knives Out, it's hard to imagine any one person really standing out. However, when speaking to Entertainment Tonight, director Rian Johnson had a clear cut MVP: Jamie Lee Curtis as Linda Drysdale. The award-winning actress would show up early to set every day, even when she wasn't scheduled to be in the scene. 'I was like, 'Jamie Lee Curtis is here! Film her!' She got into scenes she wasn't even supposed to be in — just because she was there!' Talk about being in the right place at the right time!

Knives Out stars Don Johnson as Richard Drysdale

Detective James Crockett has certainly aged well. Don Johnson, who won a Golden Globe for his portrayal of the snazzily dressed, undercover detective in the classic '80s TV series Miami Vice, remains a big name in Hollywood, still popping up in movies while well into his 60s. Since 2010, the Missouri-born actor has starred in a few Western-themed action flicks, such as Machete and Django Unchained, as well as a couple of romantic comedies, including The Other Woman and Book Club. He's also been an apparent go-to-guy for HBO, starring in both Eastbound & Down as Kenny Powers' father, Eduardo Sanchez, and more recently as police sheriff Judd Crawford in Watchmen.

In Knives Out, Johnson will play Richard Drysdale, the husband to Jamie Lee Curtis' Linda. Recently, the Tin Cup actor went on The Deep Cut podcast and raved about his experience on set. He also disclosed that he was able to see an early screening of the film, and it blew him away. 'Actually it's so good that I am super proud of it.'

Christopher Plummer is playing Harlan Thrombey

Canadian actor Christopher Plummer solidified his status as an acting great by taking home an Oscar for his portrayal of Hal, a closeted gay man, in 2010's Beginners. With acting credits dating back to the 1950s, Plummer has enjoyed an exceptionally long and fruitful career, and it's still going strong. In 2001, he played Dr. Rosen in the Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind, and in 2017, he played J. Paul Getty in the Oscar-nominated All the Money in the World. He certainly has a knack of being attached to prestigious projects, going all the way back to The Sound of Music.

In Knives Out, Plummer is playing Harlan Thrombey, a famous mystery author who's found dead. In the film, Harlan is tended to by his live-in nurse, Marta, played by Ana de Armas, and it sounds as though the two performers really developed a strong relationship on set. When The Hollywood Reporter caught up with Plummer at TIFF, the Barrymore actor was asked, of all the people in attendance at the film festival, who he would most like to be stuck in an elevator with. And the man replied, 'Apart from my wife, I think Marta [de Armas], our beautiful lady who is such a good actress. .. That would be very pleasant.' It's safe to assume that most guys would agree with Plummer's response.

Jaeden Martell is taking on the role of Jacob Thrombey

He may look young, but don't make the mistake of thinking Jaeden Martell isn't already the man. He's not even 20 years old yet, and he's already starred in a couple of major movies and TV shows. Before playing Bill Denbrough, the leader of the Losers' Club, in 2017's It, the young star shined alongside Bill Murray in 2014's St. Vincent, and he also played Johnny Masters in Showtime's often raunchy drama, Masters of Sex. (He was also the title character in The Book of Henry .. although the less said about that particular film, the better.)

In Knives Out, Martell plays Jacob Thrombey, the internet-trolling son of Michael Shannon's Walt. Interestingly enough, this isn't the first time Martell and Shannon played father and son on the big screen. In 2016, the duo co-starred in the thrilling sci-fi mystery, Midnight Special. It must be nice to have a father figure like Shannon on set.

Lakeith Stanfield will try to solve the mystery as Detective Lieutenant Elliot

Life has been especially good for Lakeith Stanfield over the past ten years. The California-raised actor's first big break was getting cast as Marcus in Short Term 12, alongside Brie Larson. He then was cast as Jimmie Lee Jackson in 2014's Oscar-winning Martin Luther King Jr. biopic, Selma. Since then, his career has really caught fire. Although he's appeared in popular films like Get Out, Sorry to Bother You, and Netflix's Death Note, perhaps his most recognizable role is that of the philosophical stoner Darius in Donald Glover's comedic drama Atlanta. Then again, he also portrayed a young Snoop Dogg in 2015's Straight Outta Compton, so you be the judge.

For Knives Out, Stanfield is playing Lieutenant Elliot, a detective investigating Harlan Thrombey's death who initially believes it to be a suicide. However, as more clues begin to surface, his character starts to suspect something more sinister is afoot. The award-winning actor will, much like the audience, try to solve Rian Johnson's whodunnit.

Knives Out Michael Shannon Wife

Riki Lindhome will be appearing in Knives Out as Donna Thrombey

Knives Out Michael Shannon

Riki Lindhome is undoubtedly one funny chick, but she doesn't limit herself to just comedy. Although she and fellow comedian Kate Micucci make up the comedy duo Garfunkel & Oates, Lindhome's first on-screen part was as Mardell Fitzgerald in Clint Eastwood's Oscar-winning Million Dollar Baby. After that, she landed the recurring role of Juliet in the sixth season of the Gilmore Girls, as well as parts in films like My Best Friend's Girl, Changeling, and The Last House on the Left.

Knives Out Michael Shannon Death

In Johnson's murder mystery, the Emmy-nominated actress is playing Donna Thrombey, the wife of Michael Shannon's Walt and mother of Jaeden Martell's Jacob. In addition to working with some major movie stars, Lindhome has certainly enjoyed the movie's many twists and turns, telling Yahoo! Entertainment, 'You see a lot of movies, and they'll have like one big twist. With Knives Out, there's just one after the other after the other. .. By the end everything's woven together in this sort of masterful puzzle.' Count us in!