Oscar nominee traces his career to Lexington

LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Michael Shannon's journey to the Academy Awards started at Tates Creek Junior High School in Lexington.

"I was in eighth grade, and I was not athletic at all," Shannon says, recalling the years at Tates Creek. "But I wanted some sort of after-school activity."

He tried the speech team.

"They gave me a little monologue to work on," Shannon, 34, says. "It just captivated me. It wasn't anything I fantasized about. When I was a little boy, I wanted to be an architect. So, it kind of surprised me."

That surprise has translated into a serious stage and film career that has resulted in Shannon's Oscar nomination for best supporting actor for his performance in Revolutionary Road.

He will learn whether he won Sunday night, when the Academy Awards are handed out in Los Angeles.

Revolutionary Road, about a couple who try to flee 1950s suburbia, is loaded with Oscar-caliber talent, including stars and previous nominees Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet and Oscar-winning director Sam Mendes.

But on Jan. 22, when the nominations were announced, Shannon's best supporting actor nod was one of only three for the film, in which he plays a mentally disturbed man who makes powerful comments. The movie's other two nominations are for art direction and costume design.

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