"The craft of acting for film is terribly exclusive and comes with the baggage of celebrity, which robs you of your individuality and separates you."
Shia LaBeouf has been a lot of things over the past two years, but none more effortlessly than the practiced figurehead of self-awareness in an otherwise insular industry. Though his rat tail work-in-progress has snatched all the headlines in the past few months, he's also been experiencing a bit of a creative high. After taking over SXSW last month for his #followmyheart project, LaBeouf recently returned to the world that made him by way of the Tribeca Film Festival.
LaBeouf serves as executive producer on LoveTrue, the new film from Alma Har’el (Bombay Beach) which delves into the challenging task of merging fiction and documentary with post-Capote bravery. The film marks the second collaboration between Har’el and LaBeouf, following their work on the Sigur Rós video "Fjögur píanó" in 2012. In an interview with Variety, LaBeouf said the "experience of working with [Har'el] was unlike anything I have known," citing the director's unique ability to use psychodrama as "a platform for healing and insight."
LaBeouf also opened up about his frustrations surrounding the continued cult of celebrity, calling performance work its "democratized and far more inclusive" constrast. Citing his frustrations with being a "commodity," LaBeouf outlined the requirements for becoming a celebrity as such — "You must become an enslaved body. Just flesh." LaBeouf called his recent foray into performance art an act of liberation, one which frees him from "the old constraints of genre."
During the Q&A before LoveTrue's screening at Tribeca, LaBeouf allowed for more specificity in his indictment of celebrity culture and Hollywood at large. According to THR, such specificity included a well-placed Transformers jab. "Bumblebee never sounds real," LaBeouf said. "It's just a fucking name. The name alone you can never make real, no matter how much you put into it, because on the other side you have a director who doesn't believe it either."
However, LaBeouf ended the Q&A on a note of unity — uniting us all in our individual hashtag quests for validity. "We're all performers," he said. "On our Twitter, we perform. We are constantly performing."
Revisit LaBeouf and Har'el's previous collaboration "Fjögur píanó" below.