Method in the madness?

As many of us know, Shia LaBeouf’s life has taken a turn for the worse within the last year. Jimmy Kimmel hit the nail on the head in their last interview when he told him: “you seem to have gone crazy since I last saw you.” LaBeouf has begun to practice extreme method acting, which seems to be an excuse for actors to act inappropriately, without having to reap any real consequences.  The last time method acting was connected to this kind of mental instability and darkness was when Heath Ledger practiced it for The Dark Knight, and everyone is aware of the tragic result of that foray into the technique.

In the last few months LaBeouf has admitted to taking acid for his movie Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, suggesting live sex for Nymphomaniac, and refusing to shower for Fury. Because smelling the part is all-important, obviously. Oh, and he was arrested at a musical cabaret for spitting on a police officer. Who does that?

His latest, and possibly most horrendous contribution to the art form of method acting was his own facial mutilation. On set LaBeouf cut his face open (in front of his co-stars) in order to make more realistic looking scars for Fury. He also wrenched out one of his teeth. That, combined with his lack of showering, dodgy beard, eagerness to have live, videotaped sex with co-workers, and tendency to cut into himself in public make him a less-than-ideal colleague. 

On top of all this “method acting“ Shia has been causing quite a bit of drama for plagiarizing. His short film HowardCantour.com, was revealed to have been entirely plagiarized from Daniel Clowes’ graphic novel. LaBeouf’s apology took the form of an announcement that he no longer wanted to be a celebrity. He tweeted: “In light of the recent attacks against my artistic integrity, I am retiring from all public life (…) my love goes out to those who have supported me. #stopcreating.”

A month later he wore a paper bag over his head, which read: “I’m not famous anymore” to the premiere of his movie Nymphomaniac. He extended his apology with a performance piece called #iamsorry (he seems to really like hash tags, not exactly winning him the sympathy vote). In #iamsorry he wore the “I’m not famous anymore” paper bag over his head again and sat in an empty room. He then had one-on-one sessions with viewers who were provided with mean tweets about Shia as well as some weapons such as pliers and a whip. It was his intent to let people get out their anger towards him so that he wouldn’t have to hear their aggression through tweets and messages anymore. Although, it seems more likely that his performance art was just an outlet for his masochistic tendencies.

LaBeouf’s whole life seems to be on a downward plunge. All of these desperate cries for help can only come from a desperate actor, past his prime, trying to relive those glory days. But is his time up? He describes this as an “existential crisis”. Is he simply trying to get the sympathy vote when he talks about being an abandoned child seeking attention, acceptance and love from the public? He resorts to blaming the most over-used, time-honoured excuse for messing up: “daddy-issues”. Well, at least he’s identified the problem. He says that he is trying to get his life back on track now with the support of his mother, who called Shia after he repeatedly appeared in the tabloids to tell him to “stop f***ing around”. Nothing like a threat of the naughty step from your mum to stop attention seeking behaviour.

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