Shia LaBeouf Directed the Marilyn Manson Music Video ‘Born Villain’ and This is the Result


I couldn’t think of an odder pairing than Shia LaBeouf and Marilyn Manson. But as LaBeouf tells MTV, the two have developed a genuine friendship after LaBeouf casually approached the shock rocker while at a concert watching the rock band The Kills. LaBeouf eventually talked Manson into letting him direct his next music video. The result, “Born Villain,” can be seen below.

Here are LaBeouf’s thoughts on the experience:

This, for me, this is a really cool diversion for me when I’m not making a movie. It gives me an opportunity to work with musicians I admire who I would otherwise never get to work with in any other capacity. I really have a fun time doing it. It allows me to be creative in another art form and work with heroes. I also think there are fans of mine who aren’t fans of Manson’s and vice versa; that’s why I think our collaboration is interesting. I don’t see fans of mine who went to see Holes when they were 12 loving this. I don’t think my audience is the only thing I should exercise my artistic muscle for. I don’t necessarily always do things for the audience; this is one of those.

LaBeouf has also directed a music video for a Kid Cudi song called “Maniac,” which turned into a short horror film that comes out on Halloween. LaBeouf says Manson was “freaked the f–k out” by the video, which he used to convince Manson he’s capable of helming the “Born Villain” clip.

The extremely graphic and highly NSFW clip borrows from Luis Bunuel’s legendary surrealist short film Un Chien Andalou, which was coincidentally edited down, colorized and shown between videos in the early days of MTV. I’m not entirely sure what to make of the video, but I find it particularly interesting because it serves as evidence of the music video medium coming full circle.

Whereas MTV would ban provocative videos from artists like Nine Inch Nails, making them nearly impossible to see, that’s not really a concern anymore since almost everyone who watches music videos does so online. Say what you want about the Internet’s effect on the music industry, but it has certainly helped return freedom and creative control to where it belongs — in the hands of the artist.