Michael Shannon plays the titular character in The Iceman. The Oscar nominee hasn’t met a role he couldn’t take. In The Iceman, he plays real-life assassin Richard Kuklinski, who claimed to have killed at least 100 people before he died in the prison wing of a New Jersey hospital.
The Iceman takes place in 1970s. It also stars Chris Evans, David Schwimmer, and Ray Liotta. It also features cameos of Stephen Dorff and James Franco. Winona Ryder plays Kuklinski’s wife, Deborah. She is the mother of two daughters and believes what his husband tells her about his source of income. The first time they met, Kuklinski told her that he works as someone who dubs Disney cartoons.
Kuklinski is the model father to his daughters even if he was abused as a boy or able to kill another person without remorse. He, however, doesn’t believe in killing women or children. Chris Evans is an ice cream truck operator and fellow hit man who is known as Mr. Freezy and lives by his own moral code.
Kuklinski in real life weighed 300 pounds and was 6 feet 5 inches tall. He managed to compartmentalize his worlds until they met and turned to ashes. Viewers see how a man can be a hit man and a family man at the same time, and how a woman look the other way in order to live comfortably.
Kuklinski’s arrest and imprisonment wasn’t the last time the world has heard about the Iceman. He appeared in two HBO documentaries and held meetings with writers, criminologists, and psychiatrists. Director and co-writer Ariel Vromen confessed that he was mesmerized with the first of the documentaries, The Iceman: Confessions of a Mafia Hitman.
The Iceman is a fascinating and grisly tale of how a person can love his family and still kill another father. Actor Shannon believed that Kuklinski knew what evil was and knew that he might be evil but he didn’t really want to be one. It was a struggle he had to face each day.