The Iceman (Millennium Entertainment)

With such work as Take Shelter, HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, and Revolutionary Road (for which he received an Oscar nod), Michael Shannon stands as one of the more talented actors of his generation.

If you dropped Shannon in a time machine back to the 1970s, he would have easily fit in with such headliners as Gene Hackman, Dustin Hoffman, and Al Pacino, and it’s great to see him take on the highly complex role of killer Richard Kuklinski in The Iceman.

When asked about his acting process, Shannon actually gave a practical answer, as he relies on instinct and awareness rather than overworked intellectual analysis.

“Ultimately you just have to be very thoughtless about it,” said Shannon.  “A lot of times what will hang you up when you’re trying to act is your brain gets involved.  You start thinking, ‘oh this isn’t right’ or ‘no I shouldn’t say it like this’ or ‘no, I shouldn’t move my hand that way, that’s going to look stupid.’ You do this long enough and you realize your brain is your worst enemy.”

Click on the media bar and listen to Michael Shannon give some insightful tips on acting in front of the camera:

The Iceman, which co-stars Winona Ryder and Chris Evans, is now playing in select theaters and has a wider release this Friday.

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