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."

By LaBeouf's own accord, Fox had every right to feel a little crushed beneath Bay's towering misogyny. Now, here's a smattering of Shia LaBeouf's quotes from the new Details:

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]


  • pinkyt says:

    This guy is trying so hard at his douchiness that it is almost quaint. Difficult to take anyone seriously whose attempt at badassery is getting into a bar fight at a restaurant in Sherman Oaks. However, he is able to make Megan Fox look likable in comparison which, (for me at least), is quite a feat.

  • Shawn Gordon says:

    I think Shia is a jerk and just in case nobody has really noticed, he's not yet a real movie star. People come to see Transformers, not Shia, diitto to the last Indiana Jones. It's a bit premature to act like such a hotshot star, his "fans" may leave him just as quickly, especially acting this way.

  • Stan says:

    Agree with PINKYT and the writer of the article. Were Shia a woman, he would have been fired along with Fox. Shia, like Charlie Sheen, are celebrated for being bad boys whereas women and people of color are ostracized for the same behavior.

  • Tommy Marx says:

    Megan was stupid for criticizing her director and comparing him to Hitler - seriously, comparing Michael Bay to a man responsible for the slaughter of millions of innocent people. She deserved to be fired.
    Shia, however, is just a douchebag. I find it amazing that he thinks acting like a spoiled brat is the way to earn respect.

  • Trace says:

    ...but didn't Charlie Sheen get fired and replaced? And isn't he a white man?

  • Megan says:

    From what we can see from Fox's and Le Bouf's interviews, what we clearly have here is two very insecure, developmentally-backward young adults with very volatile careers and limited talent. Enjoy it while it lasts, kiddos. And if you s**t where you eat, expect consequences.

  • Morgo says:

    true but he would have gotten away with it all if he'd stopped just a little bit earlier. you know its true - he's not an exception at all

  • Brian says:

    People in that age bracket use shorthand a great deal when giving interviews. For them, Hitler equals a dictator/control freak/tyrant. So instead of being specific, they just say Hitler. By doing so, they don't literally mean that the person they are talking about is guilty of starting a war and committing genocide.
    Criticizing Bay publicly was foolish, but I've read about actors doing far worse and keeping their jobs. Note that I said actors, not actresses.

  • Brian says:

    LeBeouf was right when he said he's made enough money to last 25 lifetimes, so he will be able to survive his eventual descent into the realm of straight to DVD movies and auditions for pilot season.

  • Ehud Avni says:

    Shia & Megan are supremely talented in comparison to the cast of Jersey Shore. It doesn't take talent to make stupid money, just being in the right place at the right time. To expect a young 20 something person to understand what Hitler was, approaching 70 years since his death, is expecting a lot. Today's youth gets stupider by the generation, & 20 years from now the above mentioned actors are going to seem like geniuses compared to 18-20 year olds of the future.

  • Tommy Marx says:

    May I ask for an example of an actor doing far worse and keeping his job?
    Also, it is shorthand for kids to say "that's so gay" or "that's retarded"? And does that make it acceptable? No offense, but when someone belittles 6 million Jews being murdered as equal to a movie director being a control freak, I have a problem with that. Maybe if he had only slaughtered four million Jews I would be much more hip, but I'm old-fashioned that way.

  • BourBon Mot says:

    There's a gem you missed from this month's GQ article about Bay:
    Shia LaBeouf (actor, Transformer series): It's the casting. With a different cast, Pearl Harbor would be considered a masterpiece.
    Was the casting really the problem with Pearl Harbor? I'm not sure Brandon, Pacino and Olivier could have made it any better.

  • KevyB says:

    Apples and oranges. You can't compare what a television star on America's #1 sitcom says and does to what a bit actor in a CGI-laden movie says and does. Their worth on set are at opposite ends of the entertainment spectrum.
    Anyhow, the article you reference plainly states that it was her on-set attitude that got her fired. That's the main problem I have, is people who don't treat these movies as JOBS. At least Shia showed up and worked. Though how hard is it to "act" in a Michael Bay movie? AND he also kept the crap-talking to himself until after he was done with the job.
    As for his increasing douchieness: I seem to recall reading interviews where he swore up and down he would never become "one of those people." Guess what, Shia: You're one of those people!

  • SunnydaZe says:

    Enough money for 25 lifetimes? How long before he is arrested for shoplifting in Florida or busted on Hollywood Blvd for trying to buy crack?? To quote Chris Rock, "Doesn't he know how this story is gonna end??"

  • SunnydaZe says:

    Or to paraphrase Denis Leary, "I got two words for you, Corey Haim".

  • blizzard bound says:

    I can't get with the hating.
    I think Shia has done well for himself, given his background. And he always strikes me as just being honest rather than douche-y.
    Perhaps he should go to college for a few years to get a little perspective. He can say whatever dumb things he likes and no one will care.

  • Bradley Paul Valentine says:

    Again, no story here. Feel free to make one up -- that’s the Movieline way.