Should Shia LaBeouf's Interviews Warrant the Same Rancor as Megan Fox's?
Just yesterday we discussed Shia LaBeouf's penchant for cocky, self-important interviews, and as I read through his new quote-spread in Details, it becomes apparent that we've reached the rebellious chapter in the bildungsroman of young Mr. LaBeouf's life. He's self-assured and brash, thunderously argumentative and insecure. But almost two years after his former Transformers costar Megan Fox weathered an extreme backlash thanks to her Q&A candor, the obvious question is: Should we have saved the outrage for him?
First, here's Megan Fox's most controversial quote in its entirety. You could argue that her jokes about High School Musical ("[It's] about this group of boys who are all being molested by the basketball coach, who is Zac Efron's dad") or not flushing the toilet are just as scandalous, but this is the one that ended her tryant-townsperson relationship with Michael Bay.
"God, I really wish I could go loose on this one. He's like Napoleon and he wants to create this insane, infamous mad-man reputation. He wants to be like Hitler on his sets, and he is. So he's a nightmare to work for but when you get him away from set, and he's not in director mode, I kind of really enjoy his personality because he's so awkward, so hopelessly awkward. He has no social skills at all. And it's endearing to watch him. He's vulnerable and fragile in real life and then on set he's a tyrant. Shia and I almost die when we make a Transformers movie. He has you do some really insane things that insurance would never let you do."
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."
On wild-child behavior:
"You should hear how [Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, and John Malkovich] were living at 24. Everybody's got stories. I don't want to not have stories... I've noticed that since this 'wild child' shit has been posted on my head, people seem a little more respectful [to me]."
On passing up roles that pay less than $15 million:
"Oh, I'm the villain now, for sure," LaBeouf says. "But I mean, I don't give a f*ck. 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."
On his fear of free time:
"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.
If Fox truly deserved to be fired just for mentioning the word Hitler during a paragraph-long description of Michael Bay, should LaBeouf be reprimanded for -- if not setting the world on fire with controversial quotes -- reveling in the same cavalier attitude that got his own co-star sacked? And if not reprimanded (since, by all accounts, he's done with Transformers) should he at least feel bad that he's entitled to a certain amount of honesty that Fox wasn't, simply because she's -- and I can't help that it's true -- a woman?
· Shia LaBeouf: Hollywood's Last Bad Boy [Details]
[Photo: Getty Images]