There’s no need to ask Shannon whether he likes film or the theater more. The Oscar-nominated actor will tell you he prefers theater without being prompted — no wavering, no politically correct answer — even though he realizes most others prefer film. He also realizes that it’s because of film that more people came to see him do theater last year in A Red Orchid Theatre’s “Simpatico.”
“When I started doing plays at A Red Orchid, we were lucky if anybody came to see them,” said Shannon Saturday at The Underground, where he co-hosted a fundraiser for A Red Orchid. “Because of some things I’ve done, people are now curious. A lot of people want to come. It’s ironic to me. I always thought the theater is more interesting than most of the films I’ve done. But I do know people have a fascination with the camera. They can’t get enough of it.”
Shannon said it’s getting more difficult to make time for theater not only because of his film commitments but also his family commitments. Still, he hopes to return to A Red Orchid next year.
It was recently announced that Shannon would play Elvis Presley in a new film revolving around “The King’s” famous visit to the White House in 1970 to meet with then-president Richard Nixon. Kevin Spacey is set to play Nixon in the film, “Elvis & Nixon.”
“I think there is very fertile material,” Shannon said. “None of us know what really happened — what was said when they were alone together. I like being able to use my imagination to try to get to the bottom of it.”
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