Michael Shannon was “tremendously flattered” when he received his first Emmy nomination this morning for George & Tammy. “I love all the jobs I work on, and I put a lot into the work I’ve done on television over the years,” he says. “But I feel like this one was a huge challenge, and the possibility of it not working out was very real. Jessica [Chastain]’s devotion and this unspoken bond we share got us through it somehow.” Shannon is nominated in the category of Outstanding Lead Actor in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie.
Shannon plays George Jones alongside Jessica Chastain, who was also nominated for her role as Tammy Wynette. The pair worked together on the 2011 film Take Shelter, which he says is “probably my favorite thing I’ve ever done, or the thing I’m most passionate about.”
He credits his nomination to Chastain, who he says was the reason he joined the series. “It wasn’t something on my mind until Jessica reached out to me,” he says.
Prior to the series, Shannon says he didn’t know anything about George Jones and Tammy Wynette, but he was excited to sing alongside Chastain. “We worked really hard on it,” he says. “We spent months practicing music before even thinking about the scripts or anything – just hammered those songs over and over. We had a great singing coach, Ron Browning, and it’s a very intense experience, learning how to sing with somebody. Learning how to harmonize and blend your voices, it’s just a really moving, powerful experience.”