Berlin, Paper Bags, The Trawler - In Defence of Shia LaBeouf
We're all idiots, so why do we hate this one more than most?
George Clooney walks around Hollywood, growing beards on a whim, drinking coffee and playing pranks on other famous, good-looking people. Michael Fassbender has the respect of both his peers and the critics. Jennifer Lawrence could win an Oscar for publically banning kittens.
Meanwhile, Shia LaBeouf is probably the most hated man in the industry right now. And it’s not fair. He wears paper bags on his head, insisting he’s not famous anymore. He appears naked in music videos. He head-butts people in the face for insulting his mum. He quotes footballers and storms out of press conferences. Are you not entertained?
Shia LaBeouf - how can you hate someone who wears this to the Berlin Film Festival?
People love to hate, and Shia’s been made a scapegoat for every jealous, cute kitten GIF-watching, Huffington Post-commenting, app-downloading, gourmet burger-eating moron with an iPad out there, just because he doesn’t kiss people on the cheek at award ceremonies and wear free Armani suits.
Let’s celebrate LaBeouf’s intrinsic desire to be outlandish, copiously arrogant and shamelessly contrary. It’s fun. Let Brad Pitt adopt a baby from Afghanistan, do perfume ads and start a furniture line. If Matthew McConaughey wants to be taken seriously now, let’s take him seriously – but there has to be room for a LaBeouf at this table. There just has to be.
Take Fury, for example, Shia’s upcoming WWII tank drama under Pitt’s wing. Reports have suggested that LaBeouf was a consummate professional in the lead up to the film, learning his lines thoroughly, and performing them in character at the read through stage, while others were staring at the book.
What we have here is a talented man – just take the critically acclaimed Nymphomaniac Vol. 1 as proof, if you need it – who feels the compulsion to act out against the institution that made him a household name. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy, Shia’s rage – the more angry he gets at being famous, the more famous he gets, but if it wasn’t for the Shia’s of this world, the Clooney’s wouldn’t look so good.
There was only ever going to be one outcome...