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Michael Shannon talks about Playing General Zod in MAN OF STEEL

Actor Michael Shannon has been busy this week talking about playing General Zod in Zack Snyder's Man of Steel. As soon as he was cast in this role I think most of knew that he was going to make one hell of a badass Zod. Here's what the actor had to say in a recent interview with Complex,

Here he talks about the pressure of playing General Zod, and following in the footsteps of Terrence Stamp.

Terence Stamp set a very high standard. Before we started filming, my girlfriend actually had Superman 2 on and I saw him—I hadn't seen it in years—and, yeah, it was pretty intimidating. But I think you kind of have to approach it like starting from scratch and it will be different. It's a different take on it; it's not anything I can really talk about in too much detail without getting in trouble. I can say that he's not just a cold blooded villain, you know? In his own way, he's a person just like anybody else and he's fighting for something that he believes in. 

On reading Superman comics before taking the role.

When I was little, I had these two cousins I was pretty close with that had huge comic book collections, and I'd go out and visit them and we would just look at comic books for hours, all different types of comics, and that was a lot of fun. But I hadn't bought a comic book in ages. 

He goes on to reveal his favorite superhero.

I liked the Silver Surfer. I thought he was pretty cool, just the look of him surfing through space on a silver surf board.

Silver Surfer huh? That's actually pretty cool, I actually liked Silver Surfer myself because he was the only superhero with a surfboard and I love surfing. Next, talks about diving back into the comics for the role,

Before shooting started, I was talking to Henry [Cavill], who is playing Superman, and he told me about this app you can get at DC Comics, and they've got the whole series you can look at, and he was giving me some recommendations.

And finally he explained his approach of getting inside Zod's head,

Well, for me, it always starts with the script; I find most of the clues or the guide posts for the character are in the writing, particularly if the writing is strong, and then you just have to use your imagination and try and figure out you know what the persons up against and what it feels like to be them.

When you're playing somebody like Zod, it's not a lot of hands-on research you can do. It's not like I can go prowling around in a cop car or you know go work at a bar or something and see what it's like. There's nothing to equate [being General Zod] to; it's really in your imagination. I mean, I thought the fact that he's a general is something that I could explore, a way into it looking at other real-life generals, 'cause they all have a pretty intense bearing and a very particular way of being so I looked at generals in the Army nowadays, General Petraeus, people like that, watching interviews with them trying to get to capture that “steely” nature.

In a previous interview with moviefone, Shannon tells the story behind the motion capture suit we've all seen him wearing. 

Yeah, it's one of the most humiliating garments that exists in the known universe, yes. It's very tight. It has a variety of different colors and shapes on it and it makes you feel like you're the court jester. And it's funny because when I met with Zack we were talking about it before it started and he mentioned that there was going to be a lot of CGI, or whatever. I said, 'Just don't make me wear one of those silly suits.'

He said, 'Oh, yeah, don't worry, I know exactly what you're talking about.'

I was like, 'It's going to be really hard for me to be intimidating if I have to wear one of those silly suits.' He said, 'I totally understand.'

He eventually warmed up to it because the guy is excited as hell about playing the character and what we are going to see in the final look of Zod.

Then I showed up and he's like, 'Dude, I swear to God, it's going to be so bad ass when we're done. Trust me, it's going to be wicked.' And, you know, people understand and you get used to it. The first day, you feel like you're getting rushed by a fraternity... and then it wears off the next day. Because I'm not the only one wearing one – there are other people wearing them, too.

I'm extremely excited to see Shannon in this villain role, he's one of the best and most talented actors working in Hollywood right now, and I think he's going to take Zod to a new level of badassery. What do you all think about Shannon had to say in these interviews?

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