by Brett White
Michael Shannon is about to join the esteemed league of Hollywood super villains thanks to his passionate portrayal of General Zod in "Man of Steel." But, as Shannon recently revealed to GQ, it took a little bit more than passion and relentless vocal cords to bring the ruthless Kryptonian to life. Shannon had to bulk up considerably for the part.
"It's all about the squats, man. These frickin' squats," revealed Shannon. "They've got these things, goblet squats, where you hold the kettle ball under your chin and you squat back down and back up. If it was up to ['300' trainer Mark Twight], you would do those things all the time, that's all you would do. He would line them up from the lightest to the heaviest and you would start with the light one and work your way up to the heaviest one."
That workout sounds pretty extreme, and Shannon found out just why it seemed even more extreme that normal.
"Somebody pointed out to me recently, 'You're pretty tall to be doing all those squats. Squats are hard for tall guys.' But dude, you couldn't make any excuses in there. Also lunges are very painful for me because this join right here, where my big toe is... I think I broke it or something. So to do lunges where you flex your toe back, it's very painful. I did whatever he said to do. Mark's a sweet guy - he's got everybody's best interests at heart. He just wants people to be healthy, God bless him."
The workout looks to have paid off, though, as Shannon's Zod looks every bit Superman's physical equal. For a villain, it's surprising that Zod has received a near equal amount of promotional push too, featuring in heavily in trailers and merchandising. Shannon also related how this has affected his day-to-day life to GQ:
"The thing is, I've been getting recognized for longer than you'd think. It started with '8 Mile,' because everybody saw that damn movie. People recognize me from that and 'Bad Boys II' - and those are two of my most white trash roles ever. I'm glad that something is going to replace 'Bad Boys II,' because I don't like being most recognized for playing a Klu Klux Klansmen who gets his ear shot off. 'Groundhog Day'? Not really. I think I look pretty different. I saw that clip recently on a morning chat show, they showed it to me, and I didn't recognize myself. I was so skinny and weird looking. I'm much handsomer now."
General Zod goes toe-to-toe with Superman in "Man of Steel" on June 14th.
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