Shia LaBeouf Interview, Disturbia

Posted by: Sheila Roberts

MoviesOnline recently sat down with Shia LaBeouf to talk about his new film Disturbia, a riveting, voyeuristic suspense thriller directed by D.J. Caruso from a screenplay by Christopher Landon and Carl Ellsworth. LaBeouf plays Kale, a troubled teenager who feels responsible for his father’s death in a tragic car accident. When an insensitive teacher brings up his father, Kale loses it and punches him out. Now under court-ordered house arrest for three months, he starts to go stir crazy while his mother (Carrie-Anne Moss) tries to keep things together by working day and night. As the walls close in and having the house to himself all day long quickly wears thin, Kale turns his attention to his next-door neighbors and begins to spy on them. Among them is a beautiful young hottie named Ashley (Sarah Roemer) who soon catches on to him and to his surprise becomes interested in his stakeout hobby. What starts out as a game turns deadly serious when Kale and Ashley begin to suspect that one of their neighbors (David Morse) may be an elusive serial killer. The film also stars Aaron Yoo who plays Kale’s best friend, Ronnie.

For the role of Kale, the filmmakers were looking for an actor who had the stamina to sustain throughout the film (his character is in nearly every scene) and to bring out all the dimensions and nuances of a teenager’s personality. That meant he had to be smart, funny, a little bit dark, a little bit quirky and, ultimately, have the ability to take charge and act heroic. The search came to a quick resolution when Shia LaBeouf walked into the audition room. LaBeouf has managed to bridge the tricky career breach between being a child actor with an immensely popular television series and a young leading man who’s headlined several films, including the upcoming blockbuster "Transformers.”

For LaBeouf, Kale was an attractive character to create. "When Kale loses his father, his whole world changes,” he says. "He becomes a dark, somewhat closed-off human being. Because his mom is dealing with the same pain, she’s not available, so Kale turns into this out-of-control kid under house arrest. It’s kind of like dangling meat in front of a dog. In jail, you’re locked away from the world, but on house arrest, the world is tantalizingly out there in front of you. And on top of that, he may be living across from a killer.” "The question of whether it’s true or not,” he continues, "becomes his ultimate focus…and the windows of his house become his world. He doesn’t want to deal with his feelings because the pain is too intense. So, he starts looking out and finding himself outside. He begins to explore other people’s pain as he views relationships unfolding and falling apart. While doing that, he finds someone he thinks is a murderer.”

Shia LaBeouf burst upon the scene and has quickly become one of Hollywood’s most sought-after actors. His natural talent and raw energy are quickly earning him a reputation as one of the most promising young thespians. LaBeouf recently completed production on the action-adventure "Transformers” for director Michael Bay, which will be released on July 4. The film focuses on dueling alien races, the Autobots and the Decepticons, who bring their battle to Earth, leaving the future of humankind hanging in the balance. Shia will also be featured in the animated film "Surf’s Up,” voicing the young penguin, Cody Maverick. The film, co-starring Jeff Bridges, James Woods and Zooey Deschanel, focuses on the behind-the-scenes look at the annual Penguin World Surfing Championship, along with its newest participant, up-and-comer Cody Maverick.

LaBeouf was most recently seen in Emilio Estevez’s "Bobby” starring opposite Demi Moore and Elijah Wood; the film centers around 22 people who were at the Ambassador Hotel the night that U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy was assassinated. He was also seen headlining in "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints,” co-starring Robert Downey, Jr. and Rosario Dawson. The film is a coming-of-age drama about a boy growing up in Astoria, New York, during the 1980s. As his friends end up dead, on drugs or in prison, he comes to believe he has been saved from their fate by various so-called saints.

Shia also recently starred in the lead role in the film "The Greatest Game Ever Played” for Walt Disney Pictures. Directed by Bill Paxton, the film was based on the best-selling book by Mark Frost and tells the true story of the legendary 1913 U.S. Open, in which Francis Ouimet, a 20-year-old golf amateur from Massachusetts, shocked the golf world by defeating the British champion. LaBeouf’s additional feature film credits include "Constantine,” opposite Keanu Reeves; "I, Robot,” with Will Smith; HBO’s Project Greenlight production "The Battle of Shaker Heights”; and the hit action film "Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.” In 2003, LaBeouf made his big-screen debut starring opposite Sigourney Weaver and Jon Voight in the film "Holes.”

On television, LaBeouf garnered much praise from critics everywhere for his portrayal of Louis Stevens on the Disney Channel’s original series "Even Stevens.” In 2003, he earned a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series for his work on the highly-rated family show.

LaBeouf attended the Magnet School of Performing Arts at USC and currently resides in California. He’s a charming intellectual and a fabulous guy and we really appreciated his time. Here’s what he had to tell us about his new film, Disturbia:

Q: We were talking to DJ Caruso and Ivan Reitman about making the movie earlier, and one of the things they said is that you brought a lot to the role in terms of your character. What was the sort of stuff that you noticed and wanted to change?

Shia LaBeouf: Well the script was a good script, but sometimes you’ve got these 30-year- olds writing for your age group and they don’t necessarily understand your age group as well as you do. But then again sometimes you don’t understand what’s going on as much as they do. It’s just very inclusive. DJ’s a very inclusive director.
 
You would have grips and electricians coming up to you and going, ‘you know, I’ve got a 10-year-old and a 12- year-old, and I’ve never seen them do that.’ Or you’d have, you know, everybody who was involved including the craft services would come up and talk about plot. It’s rare that you have sets like that. You don’t have those sets all the time. And humans are human. They’re experts at life. They know life as well as you do. So all the combined input was helpful. It wasn’t all me. There’s stuff I added, but that’s the job of the actors to color things in.

Q: When you read the script, did you and the rest of the cast realize that there was an opportunity for this movie to talk to your generation more than say other movies?

Shia LaBeouf: Yeah. We realized there hadn’t been a movie like that in a while, a ‘Say Anything.’ It’s funny, you get these horror films that become so one notey like, ‘Oh, this is the terrible…’ It’s all like the terrifying, ‘let’s cut the arm off, let’s pull his teeth out.’ It’s just not scary anymore. There’s going to come a point where an audience is going to go ‘alright, I’ve seen it. Now what are you going to do? Are you going to pull something else out? Are you going to kill him with something else?’ And there’s never like thought that goes into it. Character study is where it gets scary. When you have somebody like David Morris who’s creating a scary guy, who’s got all these different layers, his hair’s just a little too long, you know, just the small stuff, he’s got an earring, he’s very subtle, but he’s very good at what he does. He’s one of the best character actors we have. So when you have a guy like that who’s involved, it just becomes something else, especially with that whole relationship. And you have Sarah who is wounded.
 
She’s a wounded girl. You can see she’s in pain. There’s something interesting about the fact that you can’t figure her out and she’s bubbly, but you know that something inside of her is wounded. There’s an interesting dichotomy with a person like that and how they think and how they go about dealing with life, how they always have their representative and their shield that never comes down. You only see what they’re projecting and you know that they’re projecting, so you never really get to meet them. And there’s something sexy about that. There’s a mystery to her. Usually, especially with roles like that, the girl in the horror film is always like the big titted blonde who’s screaming the whole time. And she’s lame. People have seen it.

Q: Ivan said you’re still relatively young and you’re very grounded, very smart, very focused and that’s rare sometimes in this business. How do you stay grounded in this business when you read about Paris Hilton doing all these crazy things?

Shia LaBeouf: Well, Paris Hilton is not an actress. She’s a professional personality. There’s two different routes to this. You can be a personality or you can be an actor. You can’t do both. There’s different ways to do this. Look at 70s actors and you don’t know much about them, especially when they were doing movies like Dustin Hoffman when he’s going from The Graduate to Midnight Cowboy, then he was doing Papillon, and then he was in Kramer vs. Kramer.
 
You don’t know anything about him which is why you buy him in all these roles. Paris Hilton can’t play anything but Paris Hilton. There’s nothing wrong with that. I guess there’s an audience. That’s why she’s successful. That’s why people still read that. It’s not whether it’s right or wrong or this is a good type of art. Art is art. There’s nothing wrong in art. There’s good and bad, but that’s all personal. There’s nothing wrong in art. It’s art. You can’t say that. It’s a painting.

Q: What about fame? Has fame become a little pain in the ass from time to time?

Shia LaBeouf: I don’t have any of it. I’m not like a celebrity or star. I’m an actor.

Q: What did you learn from David Morris?

Shia LaBeouf: Not much. He didn’t talk to me for two months. He’s a method actor and he lives alone in his own world and we weren’t like on good grounds. He didn’t talk to me at all. Only time he was talking to me was when we were doing fight scenes and that would only be to say ‘this is real bad. Maybe you should duck.’ It wasn’t like a friendly thing. I remember there was one fight scene – this is how intimidating he is – I mean he’s 7 feet tall. That’s intimidating enough.
 
But there’s this fight scene where he takes my head, he slams me into a table, and we did that a couple times, and on one take his hand got lodged here [demonstrates] and wound up going straight in. This finger got broken, this finger’s messed up, this knuckle’s here, and he looks at his hand. A normal person would not take the time to look. You’d innately respond just to the pain of it, and then you’d say ‘Hey, I’ve got to go to the hospital. Maybe we should stop doing these takes.’ He looks at his hand. You see that it’s broken and he looks at me and he goes, ‘Are you ready to go again? Good, let’s do it.’

Q: So when did you realize that maybe he might not be an assh*le?

Shia LaBeouf: He’s not an assh*le. You know he’s not an assh*le and you know that there’s leeway that certain actors need to take to get to where they’re going to go. And it wasn’t intentional. He didn’t go out of his way not to talk to me. He just wouldn’t participate.

Q: He needed that distance from you as a character?

Shia LaBeouf: He just wouldn’t participate. Yeah.

Q: There’s this line in the movie where you talk about the reality of what’s going on in your community. Your best friend comes over and you say, ‘check this out’ and you start sharing some of these lives. We live in reality, we live in reality TV and all this kind of thing. Yet this is a movie, this is a film, this is a story. How do you separate, where do you draw the line for yourself when it’s your reality vs. this is what you do?

Shia LaBeouf: Well, like right now it’s a performance. This is just a representative. This conversation that we’re having is far too important for me to be real. There’s too much riding on what your opinions are and what you people have to say about this movie for me to be honest with you. I can be honest with you and be truthful and tell you about my life, but there are just certain opinions I have that I can’t express here. Talk about Paris Hilton, I can go off on that for 30 minutes.

Q: So you knew early on that you were going to set parameters for yourself?

Shia LaBeouf: Yeah, the party was never interesting to me. My dad was a drug addict. There’s something about watching your dad go through heroin withdrawals when you’re 11, it’s just not interesting any more. It’s all gone and you grow up real fast. You become a parent real quick. Not that I’m like… There’s a lot of kids who deal with this. I’m not like individualizing this one. You look at kids now, everybody’s coming from a split parenthood type of thing, and there’s a lot of drugs out there and I just happen to be … I’m an 80s baby. What was going on in the 80s?
 
My dad was … It was karate and heroin for my dad. That’s where he was at. The big reason people get into drugs is curiosity and I’ve never been curious. I’ve never had curiosity towards drugs for sure. Plus I put so much into this and I come from five generations of artists on both sides of my family who never succeeded, so this is not just big for me but big for everybody involved – everybody in my family, everybody in my lineage.

Q: What expectations are you’re talking about for your lineage and for your family? There’s a lot that’s already being written about you in the industry, like the Wall Street Journal article that’s basically putting you on this pedestal already and comparing you to Tom Hanks. How do you control that yourself to say ‘Hey guys, what’s going on?’

Shia LaBeouf: You just don’t. You don’t believe the good stuff, you don’t believe the bad stuff, you just don’t believe any of it. It’s all a big game. This is a big play. This is just another… This is like a joke, man. I’m a real person. This stuff is all magical and fun, but at the end of the day, I have a Nissan, a two bedroom house, and I’m watching a Dodger game. I’m not at my home reading the Wall Street Journal. I see it and it’s fantastic and I’m honored by it, but I can’t buy into it and believe it because if I do that, then I go on Ain’t It Cool News and read the rumor, ‘Oh, he’s playing Indy.’ ‘No! Shia LaBeouf?! F*ck that piece of sh*t. He’s a f*cking loser.’ And if you start believing this, then you got to believe that. Jon Voight always said don’t read any of it. Enjoy yourself.

Q: What about Indiana Jones?

Shia LaBeouf: The Indy thing is just a rumor.

Q: It’s a rumor even though it’s in both Variety and the Wall Street Journal?

Shia LaBeouf: Well yeah, I was also rumored to be in Superman and that was in Variety and the Wall Street Journal and all of these places, and it said that I was going to play Jimmy Olsen and then that didn’t happen. It also did the same thing with Natalie Portman. It said that she was going to play the daughter and Hayden Christensen was going to play the son. Now they’ve announced Cate Blanchett and they’ve announced Ray Winstone, but what is it saying? I’ve read it too. It’s stating a rumor and then it says that it hasn’t been confirmed by the studio, but it’s been confirmed by a good source. Who’s the good source? Tell me because I’d like to know that guy so I can be involved in the information that he has. I’m a loud mouth. I’ll tell you. If I have a contract, I will tell you.

Q: Well there’s a difference between a contract and having conversations.

Shia LaBeouf: I’m not having a conversation. I’ve never had the role. I’ve not had the meetings.

Q: There’s a new age philosopher who suggests we should all be free from criticism and praise. That’s the best way to live your life. It looks like you’ve gotten there very early.

Shia LaBeouf: I haven’t heard about that philosopher but that seems pretty accurate.

Q: Deepak Chopra

Shia LaBeouf: Oh, wow.

Q: So Transformers, what was that like?

Shia LaBeouf: Transformers was crazy. It’s just a different type of movie, a different form of it.

Q: A lot of green screens and blue screens?

Shia LaBeouf: Not a lot.

Q: Oh really?

Shia LaBeouf: No. We build the robots, we blew stuff up. This all really happened. There’s stuff we could’ve done on green screen but the way that [Michael] Bay works, and the way he works with actors, which is why it’s funny to me he goes to such lengths to put his actors in situations that are safety (??) and dangerous for their reaction and their response. He’s actually an actor’s director. It’s conducive to the performance because then you are responding. And he goes out of his way to do that. If you’re shooting a movie in 80 days, you can easily go to green screen and fake me being on the Orpheum Theatre, blowing the roof up, hanging by one hand while my feet are on fire.
 
You know that stuff you can do on green screen. But he took us to the Orpheum Theatre, blew the Orpheum Theatre up, lit my feet on fire. You don’t have to go mind F yourself, you know. You show up to set and the works done for you. You just have to respond. And so it’s funny to me that people say he’s not an actor’s director. If I didn’t have Bay, I wouldn’t have gotten through Transformers. There’s only one dude who could’ve made that movie. You couldn’t have DJ make Transformers and Michael Bay couldn’t have made Disturbia. They’re two different textures, two different paints. You know the difference between a Warhol and a Picasso, and I’m not saying that they’re either one of those or that they’re at that level, but they’re just two different textures.

Q: Were you a Transformers fan before you even signed up?

Shia LaBeouf: Huge.

Q: Really?

Shia LaBeouf: Star Wars was a bit early for me so I didn’t fall into the fanatical Star Wars thing. But Transformers was the male Barbie. I mean Transformers was at everyone’s house, not just at yours, but you’d go to a piñata party or something or a Quinceañera, everybody had them.

Q: So it was a dream come true in a way?

Shia LaBeouf: Yeah, but again, it was a cheesy cartoon. It was never what it is now and it’s turning into like… it’s becoming very serious. They’re making a whole storyline. Now they have a prequel book that I just read that just came out and it explains all the stuff that I had never even thought about. There’s the whole lingo that goes along with it. It’s very similar to Star Wars and the fan base and the passion of it. I don’t know about the mass and how big that fan base is, but the people who are into it are into it. They have Decepticon back logos, tattoos all over the place, Transformers, arm pieces.
 
You don’t see people getting Pirates of the Caribbean Jack Sparrow on their back. They don’t get those back pieces, they get Decepticon logos. They take the Ford symbol off their car and replace it with an Autobot symbol. People are fanatical about it. You go on Ain’t It Cool News or any of these websites and Chud or any of these and it’s all Transformers. Again, now I don’t know what the internet amounts to, but I know we’re the most downloaded trailer in Yahoo’s history. But again, you can’t count on things like that. Snakes on a Plane had a huge internet following and then what happened.

Q: When you’re making the movies that you work in, would you say to the producers ‘you gotta do this, you gotta make sure’?

Shia LaBeouf: Uh no, you don’t do that on a Bay set. No, you know your position right away.

Q: And you’re OK with that?

Shia LaBeouf: Yeah, it’s just a different form of it. But you gotta understand, he’s General Patton there moving the troops. He doesn’t have time to explain to you where you’re coming from, why we can’t shoot that, or why we’re not staying true to this, why Megatron is a raven instead of a pistol. When you really start thinking about it, how ridiculous would it be to have a talking Gat as your biggest enemy? Like [mimics Gat] ‘Ha! I’m going to kill you.’ It’d just be ridiculous. You know what I mean? And the fans go crazy. They go, ‘Ah, you’re changing Megatron’s form.
 
You can’t do that. That’s Protoform.’ You gotta be like, ‘Bay, hey, it makes sense.’ And there’s small things like putting flames on Optimus. They say it’s the same thing as putting nipples on the Batman suit. It’s just, man, they’re diehards about it. I understand and I enjoy the passion, but sometimes you just gotta back off a little. At least we’re making the movie.

Q: Keanu, the last time we talked to him, he talked about Constantine 2? Has he talked to you or are you talking to anybody about it?

Shia LaBeouf: No.

Q: Would you do a sequel?

Shia LaBeouf: I’d have to see the script. I don’t know. That doesn’t seem like something likely. Probably not.

Q: He seemed pretty passionate about it.

Shia LaBeouf: Personally I don’t think I’d be into it, but who knows, if it was a cool script. I don’t see where my character could go.

Q: Going back to Transformers for a second, it sounds like you have gone on line and read some of the things.

Shia LaBeouf: Oh, non-stop. Of course.

Q: As it gets closer to the release and it’s going to get more and more intense, are you going to be like ‘Okay, I can’t deal with this anymore’?

Shia LaBeouf: No. You have to be aware of it, because when you get questioned about it, especially if you’ve got a guy who’s on those sites and there’s passion behind it, you’ve got to be informed about the discussions and the topics, especially when you’re the head speaker for the Transformers movie and there’s so much behind it, you need to be educated to all of it – the lingo, the robots, the back talk, the combos, the rumors, all of it.

Q: Does that stress you out a little bit?

Shia LaBeouf: No, I’m a Transformers fan. I’d be doing this even if I wasn’t in the movie.

Q: What did you have the most fun doing on Disturbia?

Shia LaBeouf:We were shooting the movie during the playoffs. Clippers were in the playoffs and DJ is a huge Clipper fan and I’m a pretty big Clipper fan and then the Dodgers were in the playoffs. I’m the biggest Dodger fan you’ve ever met. So it was a real cool vibe because we’d be working and at lunch we’d all be together, so it was never like we all took our separate time.
 
DJ had the TV so the whole crew was in his trailer watching the playoffs. And then when we weren’t on set, it was just like a family. Very familial. You felt like you knew everyone and knew everyone’s life. It was the type of set where you’d come to set and say ‘How are your kids?’ and really mean it, not just say it to say it. It was like a really cool vibe. Batting cages, golfing together. It was a real inclusive, tight knit group.

Q: How was it working with Carrie-Anne Moss?

Shia LaBeouf: Well it was like jarring because of what you know of Carrie-Anne Moss even before the Matrix. She’s got a great repertoire of films and a lot of diverse characters, but you don’t expect her to come to set and be so mom-like. But she had just given birth and she was nursing her baby in the rehearsals, and there’s something that clicks in your mind when you see a woman nursing a child where you innately feel like ‘Oh, this woman can protect me, she’s a nurturer,’ and you hug her and she felt like mommie, and especially when you’re expecting Trinity to show up. It was just jarring. It was like wow, this is going to be fun.

Q: You had a nice chemistry together.

Shia LaBeouf: Yeah, we had a good time. But we had a lot to figure out. It was like who’s going to take the reins here. How do we deal with the guilt of the fact that you’re my mother, you know that I have something to do with the loss of my own father, how much leeway are you going to give me? At the same time, I’m the one who killed the love of your life. How are you going to play that? How are we going to have a conversation? So we’d be doing rehearsals where I’d be having Carrie-Anne against the wall punching the wall, and then we would be flipped and she’d do the same thing and we would tone it down. It was like trying to figure out who’s wearing the shoes here. Who’s going to control this? What are our discussions like? What’s the guilt like? Are you dating?
 
How do I feel about that? You know, just a lot of talking, a lot of conversation. And she was great about it, you know. At the same time, she’s nursing a newborn so how much time do you have to be able to indulge in something like this when you’ve got a kid that’s got to take priority. But she’d be there with her kid and that did something to my head and she did it intentionally. She could have easily just kept the kid at home, or the trailer, or kept it with a nurse or with the husband, but she intentionally brought it to set all the time. It was always around. Let me hold the kid. It just became like… It felt very like we were in a family.

Q: [referring to tattoo on wrist with the dates 1986-2004] Do you mind me asking, does this tattoo have any special significance?

Shia LaBeouf: A lot of people who have been working a lot of their life, I’ve been doing this for 10 years, a lot of people say, ‘Oh, I forgot my childhood or I miss my childhood.’

Q: 1986?

Shia LaBeouf: 1986 to 2004, so that’s just precautionary.

Q: That’s cool. Do you have any other tattoos?

Shia LaBeouf: [pulls up shirt to reveal another tattoo on side of his back] Yeah, there’s this one right here.

Q: Oh, that’s cool.

Shia LaBeouf: It’s like an artist drawing his own prison.

Q: And what inspired that one?

Shia LaBeouf: Just life. That’s where I’m at.

Q: Did you draw it yourself or have a friend that did it?

Shia LaBeouf: No. It’s an art piece that I’ve seen many years ago. It’s always been a cool visual for me. It’s kind of how it feels too. You know you do put yourself… because you always talk about the stardom or what not and the more you do this, then the more successful you are. You’re entrapping yourself, you know, because regardless of if you want to be a personality or not, that’s part of the game, so that sort of represents that to me a little bit.

Q: So you said you’re a Clippers fan. Do you believe they can actually lead the Pac?

Shia LaBeouf: Ah, man! I mean it’s getting harder now, and the Lakers are starting to look like they’re really… I’m a fan of both teams.

Q: You can’t be a fan of both.

Shia LaBeouf: Oh yes you can. [Laughs] I’m from Los Angeles.

Q: I think it’s amazing. The Clippers used to be the team you could count on beating.

Shia LaBeouf: Right.

Q: I live in the Bay Area so you know…but I also lived there when they were winners too. But you know to see the Clippers playing like this now…

Shia LaBeouf: They’re a good team. Well they got a good coach and I think the owner now is … The issue with them was they always would get a good player and they would trade a good player and they were always getting rid of the Cory Maggette’s and the amazing players because it was a money issue. It was all finance first. But now it’s gotten to the point when everybody started feeling like this was a loser team. The merchandise went down, they’d sell less popcorn, and things started changing.

Q: It’s like the Rockets.

Shia LaBeouf: The Rockets, but you guys got a big salary.

Q: Well you obviously like sports.

Shia LaBeouf: Huge.

Q: Do you play at all? You’re a baseball fan. You did the golf movie. Do you want to do a sport movie down the road?

Shia LaBeouf: Yeah, I’ll probably want to do a baseball film. Those always seem to be more heartfelt and the pacing of it is conducive to real, raw emotion.

Q: So if you’re not doing Indiana Jones, what are you doing next?

Shia LaBeouf: I don’t know yet. There’s a lot of different roles. There’s a lot of different projects. I might go to school. I have no idea.

Q: Really?

Shia LaBeouf: Yeah.

Q: To study drama?

Shia LaBeouf: No, I wouldn’t study drama. I would stay in this if I was going to study drama. I would probably study psychology.

Q: Really? Would you want to stay in the L.A. area?

Shia LaBeouf: Well I got accepted to Yale. That’s a big deal.

Q: Nice. Congratulations.

Shia LaBeouf: That could be cool, but there’s a school called Cal Arts here. That’s the most amazing place I’ve ever been to, period, in my life.

Q: I went to CalArts. They tear you down and they build you back up.

Shia LaBeouf: I went there and I auditioned for them, but I don’t know if they wanted me or not. I don’t know how it went. My Shakespeare’s always a bit different.

Q: When will you know?

Shia LaBeouf: I don’t think I pursued it. I think it was right when I went in, the next day I got the call for Disturbia and then Transformers came shortly after that. So that kind of went to the wayside, but I remember I had everyone write my recommendations at Cal Arts, everyone. Yeah, that was for the acting program.

Q: If it’s for the acting program, I don’t think you have to worry about that.

Shia LaBeouf: I had so many recommendations it was kind of ridiculous.

Q: That school is the top two or top three.

Shia LaBeouf: Well they’ve got… there’s a lot of talented people especially at that school. When I went in there…

Q: It’s not animation though?

Shia LaBeouf: No. But when I went in there, I saw… It blew my mind. They were doing Shakespeare but they’re in black. They have a black turtle neck. I’d never seen anything like this. So for an actor, it was like ‘oh my god, this is a Mecca’ and it was black screen, it was like puppets, they had a papier mache puppet with hands and feet. They had their feet and they were doing Shakespeare and like the dude’s really crying, with tears rolling [down his face] and he’s wiping his tears with his papier mache hand and looking up and then scratching his face and then looking down and eating his food. It was like f*cking. So much to think about, you know. To be emotionally prepared to cry and be able to know you’re lines as Shakespeare and know the pacing and still be able to move and shake the little body. It was just like on a different level.

Q: Oh wow.

Shia LaBeouf: Good to see you guys.

Q: Congratulations. Great performance. Guess we’ll see you this summer.

Shia LaBeouf: Thanks. Yeah.

"Disturbia” opens in theaters on April 13th.

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