Sundance: ‘Boardwalk Empire’ Actor Michael Shannon Airs His Beef With Video on Demand (Video)

The VOD business model disincentivizes theaters and hurts filmmakers, the ’99 Homes’ star tells TheWrap Editor-in-Chief Sharon Waxman

Last Updated: January 26, 2015 @ 6:42 PM

Same-day video-on-demand releases undermine theatrical sales, actor Michael Shannon told TheWrap Editor-in-Chief Sharon Waxman on Saturday during the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

“Then none of the theaters want to pick the movie up, because they’re like, ‘Why are we going to show your movie if you’re just going to let everybody watch it at home?'” Shannon said, citing a film he presented at the festival in 2014 as an example.

“I had a movie here last year that I was very proud of that I don’t think anybody saw … ‘Young Ones,’ a movie that I made with Jake Paltrow,” Shannon griped. “It disappeared in a puff of smoke, and it’s largely because of that business model … People should just watch movies in the movie theaters; that’s where they’re meant to be seen.”

The actor and writer-director Ramin Bahrani attended TheWrap’s Sundance studio to discuss “99 Homes,” which tells the story of a ruthless businessman, played by Shannon, who evicts a single father, but then offers him a “deal with the devil” to get it back. The film also stars Andrew Garfield (“The Amazing Spider-Man”) and Laura Dern (“Wild”).

Nominated for an Oscar for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role for 2008’s “Revolutionary Road,” Shannon has enjoyed critical acclaim for roles like that of paranoid Curtis LaForche opposite Jessica Chastain in the 2011 drama “Take Shelter,” which premiered at Sundance, and as the federal lawman-gone-bad Nelson Van Alden in HBO’s “Boardwalk Empire.” He also appeared as villain General Zod in 2013 blockbuster “Man of Steel” with Henry Cavill as Clark Kent (also know by aliases “Kal-El” and “Superman”).

Talent rises, Bahrani told Waxman in a discussion about diversity in Hollywood, and Sundance provides those opportunities. Shannon added that VOD can hurt artists’ efforts.

“Something that would help a lot is if they just got rid of VOD — but that’s never going to happen,” Shannon said. “I think a movie should come out in a theater, and then you should go see it in the theater if you really want to see it, and if you don’t really care that much, then you can wait and get it later.”

Waxman agreed, but with a caveat: “It is where they’re meant to be seen, but we’re dealing with a reality: People are going to watch movies where they want to and sometimes they’re going to want to watch them on their phones.”

To which Shannon quipped, “I don’t have to deal with reality — I’m an actor.”

Watch the video here.

Waxman interviewed Shannon and Bahrani at TheWrap Interview Studio Live at the Indiegogo Lounge powered by Dell.