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Archive for the ‘Interview’ Category
Written By Angelic on August 31, 2012
Categories Filed: Gallery Updates, Interview, Photoshoot, Scans
We meet in a run-down Persian restaurant on Hollywood Boulevard: kebabs, falafel, and cigarette smoke. “When I’m not on the set, my life is the gym, a light meal, long walks with my dog Brando, and home. I’ve been spending lots of time alone lately. I’m preparing for my next film with Werner Herzog where I play a hermit: that’s the reason for the long hair and scraggly beard. I even built myself a shed on the mountains.
Before I go on set, I have to keep myself occupied. There are too many temptations for a young person in this city, so it’s better to focus on music, reading, and work”. He is candidly referring to his troubled youth passed in Echo Park in the primarily black and Mexican area of Los Angeles. “I grew up quickly. I’m an only child: I cooked for myself when I was nine because my father was a heroin addict and my mom worked three jobs to support us. There weren’t today’s bullies at school, but we endured military-style hazing designed to humiliate you in front of the others. I was already a man at age ten”. Everyone knows the milestones in Shia’s career (the Transformers movies, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps). At 26, he’s already Hollywood’s next superstar. “I grew up admiring sensitive, honest actors like John Wayne and Montgomery Clift in Red River, which is my favorite film along with Pulp Fiction. • Read full story…
Written By Angelic on July 12, 2011
Categories Filed: 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon', Interview, Media Updates
As if Marilyn Manson isn’t quite eccentric enough, he’ll soon confuse the masses even more with his latest collaboration: Disney Channel star turned full-fledged movie star, Shia LaBeouf.
The “Transformers” star stopped by “Live With Regis And Kelly” yesterday (June 30) to discuss, naturally, his latest flick with Michael Bay, but somehow the conversation stumbled onto the topic of Marilyn Manson. Apparently Manson asked LaBeouf, who has helmed music videos for Kid Cudi (“Marijuana”) and rapper Cage, to direct a documentary about the making of his eighth album.
At the prodding of co-host Kelly Ripa, a surprisingly eager Manson fan, the actor dished on Manson and his “lair.” Watch below (starts around the 3:15 mark).
“He’s a real sweet guy,” LaBeouf said. “He’s an eccentric human being. He lives in West Hollywood above a liquor store. There are no lights in the room. And there are these big metal doors and he opens the door and he’s in a kimono, a big pink kimono. It’s sort of like a lair. No lights, so you have to use your cell phone to guide you around. We sat and watched movies for a while and talked about what kind of visuals he wanted on his album, which are all really eccentric ideas. All things I can’t really say out loud because this is morning television.”
Few specifics are known for Manson’s album, tentatively set for release later this year. The album will serve as the follow-up to 2009′s “The High End of Low.”
Q What do you think now of Megan Fox, who was your co-star in the first two films?
A I enjoyed Megan when she was here. Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is an incredible actress. This is her first one out the gate and it takes a lot of strength to be in this position and Rosie is very poised and ready and very good at her job as well.
I think they are both good at their job. I enjoyed Megan, I enjoyed Rosie. I think they are both great actresses.
Q What did Rosie bring to the movie?
A In the first movie, you had this discovery, these people seeing robots for the first time. That discovery was one of the most magical parts of the movie.
You lose that in the second movie because the two characters almost became one character with no arc. It hindered my performance and it hindered her performance as well.
Here you have a fresh set of eyes in Rosie and what that does is it makes Sam more heroic. This makes my character more interesting, so selfishly, I was very happy that Rosie was here.
Q Does it being in 3D make you act differently?
A This being the darkest of the three movies , Mike (director Bay) was very intent on making sure we kept the humour in the movie and I would say about 90 percent of the time, we are riffing and ad-libbing and trying to find it out there.
And so the beauty of digital is, it’s conducive to that, because you never have to cut, you never have to stop.
Source: Daily Record
I’ve updated a new video interview of Shia LaBeouf on the “The David Letterman Show” on June 27, 2011. Shia is currently promoting “Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon” movie.
Written By Angelic on June 29, 2011
Categories Filed: 'Transformers: Dark of the Moon', Interview, Media Updates
Here’s the video interview of Shia & the casts of “Transformers 3: Dark Of The Moon” on MTV After Hours.
The way Shia LaBeouf tells it, he was just stepping out for a smoke.
“I’m at a bar, trying to be with my friends,” he begins, still a little peeved several months after the night in question, “and a dude comes up to me and says he wants a photograph, and I say no.” The actor is folded into a bronze vinyl booth at the Brite Spot Family Restaurant, a kitschy diner on West Sunset, talking about the widely reported incident at Mad Bull’s Tavern in Sherman Oaks in February that ended with one of Hollywood’s most bankable stars chilling on the curb in handcuffs.
“Then he comes up with his girlfriend and says it’s for her, and I say, ‘Actually, I’m a little topsy-turvy, man. Can I not?’”
LaBeouf wishes he could handle such situations with more finesse. But then again, he doesn’t. “I would like to be George Clooney diplomatic,” the 25-year-old star concedes. “I just don’t have the wherewithal yet or the inner serenity. My bullshit meter is tuned very sensitive. The minute it starts kicking up, I get back to truth, and sometimes that involves, you know, ‘I don’t want to take a picture.’ And if that’s the case, am I an asshole for being honest? Or am I an asshole for being dishonest, smiling in your picture and I fucking hate being there? Which one is worse? These are the questions I ask myself that George Clooney doesn’t ask.”
Apparently, the guy in the bar wasn’t the type to ponder such issues either. He just wanted the photograph. “Then you go out to have a cigarette, and somebody comes at you,” LaBeouf says. “Hey, I’m a human being also.” That’s his problem right there. LaBeouf’s humanness, and his pigheaded if touching determination to hang on to it—no matter how insane the scene they throw up on the green screen behind him, or how outlandishly beautiful the women they pair him with, or how many zeros they cram onto his paychecks (see Transformers: Dark of the Moon, in theaters June 29)—keep getting him into trouble. That and the moonshine.
“I was actually researching,” he says of his hooch-drinking session several hours before the bar fight, as the waitress places a cheeseburger before him. “As crazy as that sounds, to blame it on the acting thing, I was getting ready to make a movie about dudes who live on moonshine every single day.”
Reaching for his iPhone, LaBeouf loads the 12-minute “sizzle reel” of footage from The Wettest County in the World, which was sold to the Weinstein Company after a hard-fought bidding war the previous day at Cannes. Directed by John Hillcoat from a screenplay by the rocker-poet Nick Cave, the film stars Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke, and LaBeouf as bootlegging brothers in Prohibition-era Appalachia.
Anyway, LaBeouf and his costars had been drinking moonshine at dinner after their table reading. “I went to this bar, and I don’t know. You sort of root for certain behavior.” He’s wearing a T-shirt with a teddy bear on it, black jeans, and hiking boots. He’s bulked up considerably since he first achieved notoriety as the dandelion-headed wisenheimer Louis Stevens on the Disney Channel series Even Stevens—though he’s not quite as jacked up as he was when he was working out twice a day and gulping down creatine and protein shakes to prepare for Wettest County. “Dude, I was 185 and ripped,” he says.
LaBeouf is good company, garrulous and intense, with an appealing touch of the angry young man about him. He spits constantly when he’s outside (“I have a wet mouth”) and is given to reciting poetry, reading me Charles Bukowski’s “Bluebird” and “B as in Bullshit” off his iPhone. He drives an enormous black Silverado pickup and a Thruxton Triumph 900 motorcycle, carries a folding Kershaw knife, and displays a Holden Caulfield—esque allergy to phoniness that makes one wonder how he can stand Hollywood at all.
LaBeouf knows he engenders hostility in certain quarters, a sense that he could stand to be taken down a peg. “This is not to be comparing myself to DiCaprio, but I remember the hatred for him when every girl I liked wanted to . . .” He pauses. “It’s not extraordinary envy, like Robert Pattinson fan-worship shit, but I do feel animosity from men. They feel like they want to challenge me. ‘I just fucked up Shia LaBeouf!’ It’s a story you can tell, and I guess you’re cool for it.”
The classic Hollywood myth begins with a young innocent, full of hope, arriving with visions of fame. Act 2 finds the naïf successful but exploited, before falling prey to temptation and winding up disgraced and penniless in the final reel. It’s not strictly a myth, either: The celebrity weeklies are packed with case studies. What’s not always well understood when LaBeouf douses a paparazzo in coffee or gets cited for failure to appear is that he’s actually playing the myth in reverse. Hollywood hasn’t been his downfall but his salvation. “I’m usually a cynical fuck,” he says, “but I’m always hopeful when it comes to movies.”
“We lived in this pink apartment building right over there,” LaBeouf says as he slips on a pair of Wayfarers, steps out onto Sunset, and points at a nearby hill. It’s a gorgeous afternoon, and we amble toward Echo Park, northwest of downtown Los Angeles. We slide by the Angelus church, where LaBeouf was baptized (he also had a bar mitzvah). He singles out the block of Glendale Boulevard where he was conceived—in a parked van in 1985—and we walk the looping path in the park where he and his parents made rent by dressing up as clowns and selling cups of shaved ice. The area has changed. “It wasn’t this SoHo-y, gentrified hipster shit,” he says, spitting on the ground.
Echo Park was mostly poor then, black and Latino. LaBeouf’s mom, Shayna, was Jewish, a dancer from New York City who made and sold handicrafts. His father, Jeffrey, was a Cajun Vietnam vet with a longstanding drug problem, a collection of lowlife biker buddies, and some unusual moneymaking schemes, including growing pot along the 110 Freeway and selling it around the neighborhood. His parents were together only intermittently, and the clown-family routine remains one of LaBeouf’s happiest childhood memories. “It was the one time they would always stop fighting,” he says. “Who wants to buy a snow cone from some fighting clown family?”
Still, under the greasepaint and floppy hat, LaBeouf was a mess. His dad often disappeared and spent years in a VA hospital trying to kick heroin. “I fucking hated him for it—choosing the hospital over me,” LaBeouf says. One of the few white kids in his neighborhood, he felt isolated and strange. “I felt like shit about myself,” he remembers, sitting on a bench and firing up a cigarette. “I was basically alone. That does something to you.” After one therapist suggested that he take out his anger on a stuffed animal, he chose a big teddy bear and throttled it in a rage every day after school.
Not surprisingly, LaBeouf soon “got kicked out of every school I ever went to” for fighting. “You weren’t fighting because you were a tough guy,” he explains. “You were fighting because a dude comes up and punches you in the chest—so either you hit him back or not only is he going to punch you every day but all his friends are going to beat the shit out of you. You fight out of fucking survival.” He drops his cigarette and mashes it out. “I still have that in me, which gets me into trouble.”
What followed was a series of stints in various reformatories, behavioral academies, and religious retreats, including one Christian camp where he was required to wash the feet of his fellow campers after a strenuous hike, just like the apostles.
Gradually, LaBeouf developed another survival mechanism: a sense of humor. He was a funny kid, practicing comedy routines and hitting open-mic nights at local clubs. LaBeouf knew he had to “make a move,” he says, if he was going to have a decent future. He began calling casting agents, posing as a talent manager and suggesting that they take a look at his brilliant young “client.” No doubt they were wise to the hustle, but at least one was intrigued enough to get the 13-year-old smartass an audition with the Disney Channel. LaBeouf arrived with a prepared monologue—a Lenny Bruce routine—and left with a starring role. “They didn’t hire me because I was a good-looking dude,” he says. “They hired me because I had no fear, no respect for authority, and no respect for boundaries.”
On Even Stevens, LaBeouf’s performances were mostly improvised and aimed more at amusing the crew than at entertaining the kids at home. The gig provided him with a ready-made family as well as a way to reconnect with his estranged dad: The law requires that child actors have an adult guardian on set, a job LaBeouf was suddenly in a position to pay his father to do. “I basically rented my dad back. We developed a relationship based on this commerce.”
Jeffrey LaBeouf was still dealing drugs, and the two of them lived in a cheap motel. An actress on the show accused Jeffrey of sexual harassment; another time, he attacked a high-level Disney executive, who was gay, after the man gave Shia a congratulatory hug. Jeffrey, who has always been homophobic, Shia says, grabbed the man by the lapels and practically put him through a wall. “He goes, ‘Are you trying to talk to my boy, you chicken hawk?’” recalls LaBeouf, who makes it clear he doesn’t share his father’s prejudice. “You can’t do that to the executives.”
If there’s one thing that Shia LaBeouf shares with his father, it’s a propensity for stirring up trouble. There was that time he rolled his truck while “philandering around,” as he says, with his Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen costar Isabel Lucas (then in a relationship with Entourage’s Adrien Grenier). “It was sort of disastrous,” LaBeouf says. “Neither one of us, I think, were in love. Just sort of experimenting or whatever.” Technically the accident—in which LaBeouf’s car flipped three times, pinning his arm and leaving his hand mangled—was the other driver’s fault. But LaBeouf admits he’d had “three or four” beers a few hours before getting behind the wheel.
Then there was the time he pulled his knife on a guy who’d gotten into a traffic beef with his mom, and the well-documented altercation with a security guard in a Chicago Walgreens. The misadventures that didn’t make the papers, he says, are legion—including the day a few years back when he and Megan Fox were at a Taco Bell and the cashier made a rude comment to her and LaBeouf wound up going behind the register and whaling on the guy.
As L.A.’s paparazzi have found in recent years, stalking LaBeouf should carry hazard pay. When one photographer aimed a long lens at the window of LaBeouf’s house, the actor burst outside, grabbed several thousand dollars’ worth of equipment from the shooter’s car, and held on to it until the cops showed up. “I’m a little territorial and defensive,” he says. “I don’t like having my space invaded. I’m a fucking human being who pays his taxes. And I don’t respond in a really sweetheart way. I mean, maybe I should develop that, but even as I say that, I have this cheerleader in the back of my head that’s like, ‘No, man, don’t conform!’”
LaBeouf doesn’t want to change simply to protect his image. He’s discussed this at length with Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, and John Malkovich, not to mention his father. “You should hear how they were living at 24. Everybody’s got stories. I don’t want to not have stories.” Plus, there’s an upside to posing for the occasional mug shot. “I’ve noticed that since this ‘wild child’ shit has been posted on my head,” he says, “people seem a little more respectful.”
El Compadre, the “Home of the Flaming Margaritas,” is a Mexican cantina on Sunset with big Diego Rivera—style murals on the walls and plastic papel picado banners strung from the ceiling. It’s late afternoon, and over a few Dos Equis, LaBeouf proceeds to offer up so many noteworthy yarns—his near blinding when a spike punctured his eye socket while he was filming Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (after 20 stitches, he returned to the set and “they shot from the other side,” he says); his ill-fated sushi dinner with Hilary Duff (“probably the worst date either of us has ever had”); his backstage throwdown with Tom Hardy after a joke gone awry (“He never did that roughhouse stuff with me again”)—that I suggest he write a book.
He laughs. “Nah, dude. People write books about important shit.”
LaBeouf places a premium on honesty, which is why when he’s asked about a movie he’s appeared in, or his place in the business, or whether he’s hooked up with Megan Fox (i.e., traveled to the Hottest County in the World), he tends to offer a forthright reply.
“He will say what he feels, almost too much so,” notes Wettest County director Hillcoat. “He wears his heart on his sleeve, and it can sometimes blow back. But it’s the same thing that also lets him access the truth of his emotions.”
Such truth telling hasn’t always amused his colleagues. After being anointed by Steven Spielberg, LaBeouf gave a lukewarm review to Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, blaming himself as well as the legendary filmmaker for its failings (“When you drop the ball, you drop the ball,” he said at the time). “I got lambasted for that, and understandably so,” he says, smiling. “Because you can’t be an actor and be honest—that’s crazy!” Although LaBeouf tells me that Harrison Ford privately applauded his outspokenness, Ford recalls the conversation differently. “I think I told him he was a fucking idiot,” the famously reticent star says. “As an actor, I think it’s my obligation to support the film without making a complete ass of myself. Shia is ambitious, attentive, and talented—and he’s learning how to deal with a situation which is very unique and difficult.”
LaBeouf is also critical of last year’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps. While effusively praising the performances, story line, and cinematography, he says the problem was Oliver Stone’s sentimentality. “He’s trying to play nice. But for a movie like Wall Street that had so much bite the first time around to come out without fangs and preach a message of hope wasn’t what people were looking for.”
He also gave an emphatic thumbs-down to Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. “We were flying by the seat of our pants, with an unlimited budget,” he says now, noting that they’d begun shooting without a finished script. “None of us had any clue what we were doing.”
Worse, the franchise’s coanchor, Megan Fox, had undergone something of a feminist awakening. Embodying the Eye Candy of the Apocalypse no longer felt like a worthy endeavor. “She felt like a prostitute,” LaBeouf says. Fox quit her role in May 2010 after a dustup with the director, Michael Bay, and was replaced by the lingerie model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley for the third movie.
Asked if he hooked up with Fox, LaBeouf nods affirmatively. “Look, you’re on the set for six months, with someone who’s rooting to be attracted to you, and you’re rooting to be attracted to them,” he explains. “I never understood the separation of work and life in that situation. But the time I spent with Megan was our own thing, and I think you can see the chemistry onscreen.” When I inquire about Fox’s status at the time with her longtime boyfriend, Brian Austin Green, LaBeouf replies, “I don’t know, man. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. . . .”—repeating the phrase exactly 12 times with various intonations, as if trying to get it just right. Finally, he says, “It was what it was.”
Whatever audiences think of Dark of the Moon—which LaBeouf swears is by far the best of the three Transformers films—the actor is plainly relieved to have fulfilled his commitment. Not that it isn’t a comfortable existence, being one of the most reliable earners in Hollywood—last year he topped Forbes’ “Best Actors for the Buck” list, which means his asking price of $15 million per film is considered a bargain. But LaBeouf, who also starred in Disturbia and Eagle Eye, isn’t in it for the money. After a number of well-compensated roles that did little to showcase his talent, he is aware that he still has plenty to prove. “I am trying to impress myself,” LaBeouf says. “I have yet to do it.”
As a result, he’s gotten choosy. He says he’s done with the action genre. Not only did he walk away while in talks for The Bourne Legacy and Rise of the Planet of the Apes, he says he lost interest during negotiations to appear in Oscar bait like 127 Hours and The Social Network. While they were all fine movies, he says, “I’m looking for Warren Beatty—type game changers.”
With that film wrapped, LaBeouf is considering a number of projects but hasn’t committed to any. All of them have one thing in common: They won’t pay him anything close to $15 million. I ask him what his agent, CAA president Richard Lovett, thinks of his leaving all those chips on the table. “Oh, I’m the villain now, for sure,” LaBeouf says. “But I mean, I don’t give a fuck. At this point I have enough money to live 25 lifetimes. You couldn’t spend the money I’ve accrued now. I have no interest in the materialistic bullshit money can buy.”
Having grown up poor, LaBeouf says he feels “real shame” about the wealth he’s acquired. He has no assistant, no driver. He bought his house, in a low-key part of town, for about $1 million. LaBeouf remembers his Wettest County costars Clarke and Hardy discussing sports cars. “They’re talking about Ferraris and shit, like it’s a cool car. If Clarke pulled up in a Ferrari right now, my idea wouldn’t be, ‘What a cool fucking guy!’ It would be, ‘Look at this clown.’ I think the fact that I despise that stuff keeps me safe,” he adds with a smile. “I hang on to my dirt. I like my dirt.”
Given his rocky childhood, perhaps it’s not all that surprising that LaBeouf seeks stability in his romantic life—albeit with a few high-profile exceptions. He calls himself a “serial monogamist” and says he’s never had any interest in bedding movie extras or fans, despite the array of opportunities afforded an A-list star. It’s “below my dignity,” he says. “It’s not me. I’d feel disgusted with myself. It takes a certain mentality to be able to pay a hooker and stay hard, if you know what I mean.”
LaBeouf and Carey Mulligan, his Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps costar, dated for more than a year before mutually ending their relationship last October. “I still love her,” he says. “I think she’s a fucking awesome person and an incredible actress. We’re still pals. I wouldn’t take any of it back, and I don’t think she would either. It just ran its course.”
He met his current girlfriend, Karolyn Pho, a student and stylist, at a restaurant. Though he made a careful study of Neil Strauss’ pick-up-artist bible The Game and can recite several “approaches” from memory, he says he never really uses that sort of technique. Instead, true to form, he favors a strategy of brutal honesty. “I just saw her, thought she was attractive, and told her so. Just straight. I put it on the table, and either it works or it doesn’t.”
They’ve been together for seven months. The two of them do a lot of cocooning. They see Groundlings and Second City shows, hit the museums, cook, watch movies, and hang out with LaBeouf’s one-eyed English bulldog, Brando. “It’s a pretty mundane, domestic, docile, lame, sort of not-that-exciting existence,” he says. It suits him fine.
For the first time in a while, he has nothing concrete lined up and a lot of blank days on his calendar. “That’s the new, very hard challenge, man,” he says. “I’m a call-sheet junkie. I love being on set. So the hardest thing for me is dealing with all this idle time. That’s when I get into trouble.” Sounds like it could get ugly, I tell him. LaBeouf drains his beer and stands to leave. “Or beautiful,” he says with a smile.