On Sunday night, the biggest names in Hollywood celebrated the best works of 2017 at the Academy Awards. The Dolby Theatre was packed with the stars of the most beloved movies of last year—well, everyone except The Shape of Water’s Michael Shannon, who watched the ceremony on mute (with subtitles) at Old Town Ale House. This according to the bar’s owner, Bruce Elliot, who tweeted a photo of Shannon viewing the ceremony:
Michael Shannon watching the film he starred in, "Shape of Water", win best picture while sitting in the Old Town Ale House. No sound on the TV, just sub-titles. Of course the juke box was rocking, and the beer flowing. Where else would you want to spend Oscar night? pic.twitter.com/WAC6uc6guZ— Bruce Elliott (@GeriatricGenius) March 6, 2018
Presumably, Shannon stuck around town for the final night of his show Traitor, which closed on Oscar Sunday. He directed Brett Neveu’s cutting modern update of Hendrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People at A Red Orchid Theatre this winter. Shannon’s known to frequent nearby Old Town Ale House, one of the best dives in Chicago with its own rich history in show business.
Though Shannon missed the ceremony, The Shape of Water had the biggest night of any picture on Sunday. The surreal fairytale walked away with gold statues for Best Original Score, Best Production Design, Best Director (Guillermo del Toro) and Best Picture. While Shannon himself wasn’t nominated for an award, his co-stars Sally Hawkins, Octavia Spencer and Richard Jenkins were up for Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress and Best Supporting Actor, respectively.
Even for an actor who thrives on playing unhinged characters, Shannon’s performance as the film's villain, Colonel Richard Strickland, is an intense one. If you’re into Shannon cranked up to 150 percent, obsessively crunching candies and wagging bloody stumps of fingers around while Tasing fantastical creatures, you’ll love him in The Shape of Water. And no, he's not the one who bangs the fish-man.