The Hidden Genius of Shia Labeouf

By John Hodge

“Actual cannibal Shia Labeouf…” These words will be forever etched into my brain. At irst glance, Mr. Labeouf seems to have gone completely mad, but a closer examination of the artist he has become reveals one of the most unique and intriguing players in Hollywood today.

First of all, his acting choices of late have been particularly interesting. Rising to A-list status by taking roles in lucrative films that lack any substance whatsoever (America’s favorite) like the “Transformers” series and “Disturbia,” Labeouf has now turned to the indie-film industry. He has been taking on roles in not-great-but-still-provocative films such as “Charlie Countryman” and more recently, “Man Down.” Additionally, he has starred in quality films like “Lawless” and “Fury,” turning to the method acting approach initiated by actors such as Marlon Brando and adopted by award fiend Daniel Day-Lewis.

Outside the acting world, Shia has done some seriously unprecedented stuff. From hitch-hiking cross-county for God knows how long and how far, to hosting an open-to-the-public one-on-one meeting with total strangers, to being arrested at a Broadway “Cabaret” performance for public intoxication and disruptive behavior, Shia has been involved in some highly bizarre and publicized occurrences. His decision to film himself watching all of his own films was particularly odd and, honestly, confusing. At the same time, it was completely fascinating. Simply watching a YouTube video of “highlights” of the event will perhaps make you feel uncomfortable, but I guarantee you will find yourself going down a rabbit-hole of Shia madness.

My personal favorite is “Shia Labeouf: Live,” a YouTube video created by Rob Cantor, detailing a fictional, mortifying run-in with Shia in the woods late at night. At face value, there is no question that the video is mildly disturbing, but it is also unbelievably hilarious. Cantor’s inflection is brilliantly comical, and the lyrics sung by the choir are phenomenally funny (be sure to watch the version with subtitles). If you are confused right now, I only hope that confusion will serve as incentive to go watch this video.

Also, I find his interview on Jimmy Kimmel detailing his Broadway arrest to be hysterical.

Lastly, I’d like to mention that this is sort of a joke. I am not actually obsessed with Shia Labeouf or anything like that, I just find him to be outlandish, and immensely humorous as a result. So go watch these videos, and prepare yourself for a real Shia surprise.

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