Michael Shannon is one of those actors that constantly reminds us there’s no such thing as small parts. No matter the size of the role, his presence will leave an impression, with his sole scene in Loving being one example. Every second matters when Shannon is on screen. The actor, who was last seen on AMC’s The Little Drummer Girl, now stars in Meredith Danluck‘s feature directorial debut, State Like Sleepan intimate neo-noir with dreamlike sequences.

Katherine Waterston plays a photographer investigating the death of her husband, and during her journey of grief she crosses paths with Edward, her neighbor at a hotel. Because of the story’s unpredictable tone and genre elements, you’re not quite sure what to expect from Edward at the start, but there’s ultimately a surprising tenderness to his messy relationship with the lead character. Along with Waterston, Shannon makes the movie’s few moments of kindness very impactful.

Recently, Shannon told us about his experience with Waterston and Danluck, in addition to the importance of naps, the apex of his career, a memory from Kangaroo Jack, and some details about Rian Johnson’s Knives Out.

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