Actor Michael Shannon was drinking beer in a Chicago dive bar when ‘The Shape of Water’ won

AFP/Getty Images

Actor Michael Shannon is in Chicago to direct a play.

By Globe Staff 

Wondering why Michael Shannon was nowhere to be seen when “The Shape of Water” won best picture at the Oscars the other night?

That’s because the actor, who plays the villain in director Guillermo del Toro’s film about an improbable romance, was having a drink at the Old Town Ale House, a dive bar in Chicago. Shannon wasn’t making a statement by skipping the ceremony — he attended the Oscars last year when he was nominated for his role in “Nocturnal Animals” — he was just busy.


Shannon was in the Windy City directing a production of Brett Neveu’s “Traitor” at A Red Orchid Theatre, which is very close to the Old Town Ale House. The bar’s owner, Bruce Elliott, snapped a pic of Shannon when “The Shape of Water” won.

“No sound on the TV, just sub-titles. Of course, the jukebox was rocking, and the beer flowing,” Elliott tweeted. “Where else would you want to spend Oscar night?”