Actor and Lexington native Michael Shannon will be star of Kentucky Theatre fundraiser

April 8, 2013 

Actor Michael Shannon, an Oscar nominee who is a native of Lexington, will return home April 26 to take part in a fundraiser for downtown's historic Kentucky Theatre.

The event will include a premiere screening of Shannon's latest movie, Mud, which also stars Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon and Sam Shepherd, who has a home in Midway.

The Friends of The Kentucky Theatre is working to raise $1.5 million for technology upgrades and other much-needed renovations at the landmark theater.

The fundraiser will begin with a VIP reception at 6 p.m. at Portofino restaurant, where guests may meet Shannon. Tickets are $100 a person, $150 per couple, and include admission to the movie. Reservations are required; go to Kentuckytheatre.com.

The movie will be shown at 8 p.m. Shannon will introduce the film and take part in a 30-minute Q&A session after the screening. Tickets are $20 and may be purchased at the theater box office or at Kentuckytheatre.com.

In a 2009 Herald-Leader interview, Shannon said his journey as an actor started at Tates Creek Junior High School.

"I was in eighth grade, and I was not athletic at all," he recalled. "But I wanted some sort of after-school activity."

He tried the speech team.

"They gave me a little monologue to work on," Shannon said. "It just captivated me. It wasn't anything I fantasized about. When I was a little boy, I wanted to be an architect. So, it kind of surprised me."

That led to roles in the Actors Guild production of Home Fires, in Harvey at Henry Clay High School and at Lexington Children's Theatre.

During his high school years, Shannon, 38, also lived in Chicago with his father after his parents' divorce. While working in theater in Chicago, Shannon made his first forays into film. A breakout moment came with a small role in the 1993 Bill Murray vehicle Groundhog Day. His credits also include Revolutionary Road, for which he was nominated for an Oscar as best supporting actor in 2009; Bug with fellow Kentuckian Ashley Judd; and World Trade Center. He also is a regular on the HBO series Boardwalk Empire.

This summer, Shannon will appear as General Zod in the Superman movie Man of Steel.

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