Has Shia LaBeouf Grown On You Yet?

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Shia LaBeoufOn Wednesday Lawless hits theaters, but don’t expect to see any Shia LaBeouf sightings in the meantime as he is currently preparing for the start of production on Lars Von Trier‘s Nymphomaniac, which goes in front of cameras tomorrow (8/28) according to a press release from Trust Nordisk.

You may remember, Nymphomaniac will feature graphic sexual behavior which LaBeouf recently discussed saying he’s ready to do “whatever is asked” of him and that the sex acts that are “illegal [Von Trier will] shoot in blurred images.”

Those quotes came out at the same time LaBeouf was telling the Hollywood Reporter, “I’m done [with Hollywood movies].” He continued, “[The studios] give you the money, then get on a plane and come to the set and stick a finger up your ass and chase you around for five months.”

His honesty is refreshing in a business where everyone walks on egg shells and makes public apologies for stepping out of line.

The first stages of LaBeouf’s honesty seem to have started in Cannes where he was quoted talking about Indiana Jones and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and saying, among other things, “When you drop the ball, you drop the ball.”

Of course, LaBeouf’s comments were all over the Internet. Indiana Jones star Harrison Ford was quoted calling him a “Fucking idiot.” And LaBeouf acknowledged in an interview with Details last year he was “lambasted” for the comments adding, “Because you can’t be an actor and be honest–that’s crazy!” Clearly he didn’t let the incident stop him.

The title of that Details feature is “SHIA LABEOUF: HOLLYWOOD’S LAST BAD BOY”. I wonder, is he the last or the latest?

Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf in Lawless
Tom Hardy and Shia LaBeouf in Lawless
Photo: The Weinstein Co.

A story going around with the upcoming release of Lawless is the reminder of how LaBeouf knocked out Tom Hardy on set, apparently after a joke had gone awry. I’ve heard it told that Hardy tried to bully him a little, and LaBeouf told Details that after knocking Hardy out, “He never did that roughhouse stuff with me again.”

When asked about the incident by Den of Geek, Hardy confirms the story adding, “He knocked me out sparko. Out cold. He’s a bad, bad boy. He is. He’s quite intimidating as well. He’s a scary dude.”

Hardy doesn’t give reason for the situation adding, “He just attacked me… He was drinking moonshine. I was wearing a cardigan, and er, went down. I woke up in Pnut’s (Hardy’s trainer) arms.

“[Pnut] was concerned for me. I was like, ‘What was that? It was lightning fast.’ And he said, ‘That was Shia.’ I said, ‘Fuckin’ hell. Can we go home now?’ ‘No, we’ve still got three weeks to finish.'”

So there’s your boy, Mr. LaBeouf. He’s an actor I actually quite enjoy despite his choices in films. I even gave him praise in my review of the terrible Eagle Eye back in 2008. I love his quick delivery and he seems to be able to handle most any material. I appreciate his open nature and he seems to be living up to what he says.

He bowed out of consideration for The Bourne Legacy and Rise of the Planet of the Apes and reportedly lost interest during negotiations for 127 Hours and The Social Network.

When Details asked what his agent, CAA president Richard Lovett, thought of his decision to walk away from some big pay days he said, “Oh, I’m the villain now, for sure, 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.”

He continues talking about his co-stars on the Lawless set:

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 [Lawless] costars [Jason] 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.”

So yeah, every now and then it comes off as less than honest and more as being a bit of a “me against the world” prick, but we’re talking about a 26-year-old (25 at the time of the interview) that has managed to bilk the system for big bucks for three Transformers films, walk away and do what he wants while at the same time calling “bullshit” on an industry that is filled with it.

Nymphomaniac title treament
Nymphomaniac title treament
Photo: Trust Nordisk

So next up for Shia is the release of Robert Redford‘s The Company You Keep, which will premiere in Toronto and was recently acquired by Sony Pictures Classics. But the big story will be Von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, a film so far away from Hollywood the press release includes a paragraph that says, “Due to reasons of censorship Nymphomaniac will be distributed in different versions. PLEASE NOTE: The sex scenes in the film will be performed with the help of body doubles and visual effects.”

You ready for that?