21 questions

Michael Shannon Hates His View of the Statue of Liberty

Name: Michael Shannon
Age:  37
Neighborhood:  Red Hook
Occupation: Actor, currently appearing in Uncle Vanya at the Soho Rep, through July 22. 

Who’s your favorite New Yorker, living or dead, real or fictional? 
Giuliani, or the honorable Giuliani … I don’t know the official way to … what’s his first name, is it Ed?

What’s the best meal you’ve eaten in New York? 
The fried chicken at Blue Ribbon knocks my socks off, which is high praise because I’m from Kentucky, where the frying of chickens came into vogue.

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job? 
Control people and manipulate situations to my advantage … with great feeling.

What was your first job in New York? 
Killer Joe at the Soho Playhouse with Scott Glenn, Amanda Plummer, Sarah Paulson, and Marc A. Nelson. It was a nice start.

What’s the last thing you saw on Broadway?
Death of a Salesman. Boy, I’m glad I got out of telemarketing.

Do you give money to panhandlers? 
I’m a soft touch. My dad used to give me a hard time about it. “You’re giving them the money I just gave you.” 

What’s your drink? 
The Grey Snail. That’s when you pick up the bar mats at the end of the night and drain off the spillage. It was an initiation at this bar I worked at, but I grew to quite enjoy it. You only need one, let me tell ya.

How often do you prepare your own meals? 
Usually never, but lately all the time, because I stopped eating meat and I’m trying to drop a couple pounds to play Astrov. He’s skinny I think. It seems to be having a huge impact.

What’s your favorite medication? 
Thorazine (via breast milk).

What’s hanging above your sofa? 
A painting my girlfriend inherited from her grandparents. Very colorful dog-looking creature.

How much is too much to spend on a haircut? 
Unfortunately, because of my job, I always get top-of-the-line haircuts absolutely free of charge, so this is not my area of expertise.

When’s bedtime? 
Constantly. When isn’t bedtime?

Which do you prefer, the old Times Square or the new Times Square? 
If I could somehow manage to never enter midtown as long as I live, I would be a happier person.

What do you think of Donald Trump? 
I always get excited when I’m sitting on the runway at LaGuardia and I see his plane and it’s moving! Is he on it? Where’s he going? He’s a real inspiration, because if he can do it, pretty much anyone can!

What do you hate most about living in New York?
From my window, I see the Statue of Liberty. That’s pretty annoying.

Who is your mortal enemy? 
Koch Brothers. Burn in hell.

When’s the last time you drove a car? 
Well, we don’t have one. When I go to L.A., I rent one sometimes. Whoa, this is getting too intense 

How has the Wall Street crash affected you? 
Everything that happens on Wall Street only fortifies my opinion that there is in fact a more ludicrous industry than the entertainment industry. 

Times, Post, or Daily News? 
Times (surprise!!!).

Where do you go to be alone? 
Cumberland Island, off the coast of Georgia. Paradise.

What makes someone a New Yorker? 
I thought that’s what the bar code was for?

Michael Shannon’s 21 Questions