Shia LaBeouf is no stranger to weird stunts and controversy. In 2014, he was arrested for causing a drunken racket at a Broadway performance of “Cabaret.” Last fall, he organized a screening of all of his movies in one continuous marathon at a New York theater — which he personally attended and live streamed. Searching his name on YouTube yields an array of bizarre viral videos.
And now, the formerly Jewish actor — who was bar mitzvahed but reportedly converted to Christianity on the set of “Fury” in 2014 — is in the news again, this time for ripping one of the most respected directors of all time: Steven Spielberg, whom LaBeouf worked with on films such as “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”
“You get there, and you realize you’re not meeting the Spielberg you dream of,” LaBeouf said in a Variety cover story published Tuesday. “You’re meeting a different Spielberg, who is in a different stage in his career. He’s less a director than he is a f—ing company.”
The 30-year-old LaBeouf — who is currently earning high marks for his performance in the indie film “American Honey,” which premiered at Cannes in May — blasted the “Schindler’s List” director’s working environment.
“Spielberg’s sets are very different,” LaBeouf went on to say. “Everything has been so meticulously planned. You got to get this line out in 37 seconds. You do that for five years, you start to feel like not knowing what you’re doing for a living.”
He added that the only film that he enjoyed working with Spielberg on was the first “Transformers” movie (for which Spielberg was an executive producer). LaBeouf starred in the first three “Transformers” films, but declined the lead role in the fourth. (Interestingly, LaBeouf’s co-star in the first two films, Megan Fox, was fired after comparing director Michael Bay to Hitler.) A fifth “Transformers” movie is slated for 2017.
In addition, LaBeouf mentioned that Spielberg advised the young actor not to read reviews of his work. Suffice it to say, the star didn’t take those words to heart.
“There’s no way to not do that,” LaBeouf said. “For me to not read that means I need to not take part in society. The generation previous to mine didn’t have the immediate response. If you were Mark Hamill, you could lie to yourself. You could find the pockets of joy, and turn a blind eye to the s— over there.”
Hopefully, Spielberg takes his own advice and isn’t reading the news too closely this week.