Who knew that Michael Shannon was such a smooth singer? Nine Perfect Strangers‘ latest episode featured a performance from the actor best known for The Shape of Water and Revolutionary Road. In an interview with Decider, Shannon opened up about why he was so excited to sing on camera.
“I love singing, I sing all the time. I’ve been singing ever since I was a little boy. So I was excited to sing,” Shannon said. “I guess that’s something maybe not a lot of people know. Well, some people know people always ask me about my band (Corporal) or whatever, but I love to sing.”
Napoleon’s (Shannon) jazzy number doesn’t come from nowhere. “Sweet Surrender” revolves around one of the hardest days for the Marconi family: Zoe’s (Grace Van Patten) birthday. Repeatedly, Zoe tries to brush off this day that reminds her of the twin brother who took his life. While she avoids this day, her parents try to celebrate it, desperate to make their remaining child as happy as possible. It’s only after a day filled with tripping on various drugs that this family finds some sense of closure and respectful happiness for this day.
That’s when Napoleon takes the stage. After apologizing to his fellow guests, he grabs a microphone and launches into a birthday tradition: singing “Happy, Happy Birthday Baby” by The Tune Weavers. Shannon gives a jazzy performance that perfectly matches the sincere yet somehow cool tone of David E. Kelley’s Liane Moriarty adaptations. It’s a moment not unlike Big Little Lies’ take on “The Wonder of You.”
According to Shannon, he didn’t have a specific source of inspiration for the number. “I’d actually never heard this song before, but once I knew I was gonna be singing it, I just listened to it a bunch of times,” Shannon said.
Something’s definitely working. Napoleon’s song is catchy enough to make Melissa McCarthy’s Frances and Bobby Cannavale’s Tony dance. Could a full “Michael Shannon Sings The Hits” album be next?
Originally published at https://decider.com/2021/09/01/nine-perfect-strangers-michael-shannon-song/ on .