Instinctively aware of his responsibilities to be a plonker of the absolute first water, the better to amuse the rest of us, the Transformers actor has opened the year with a bang. Even as other movie stars remain focused on the work, or deluded enough to imagine that their nutritional arrangements pass for a philosophy, Shia's shenanigans remind us that the most important profession in the world simply doesn't have to be this way.
Refusing to let Miley Cyrus get away with fancying herself the most malfunctioning former Disney star, Shia's recent activities include:
• Revealing he sent Lars Von Trier pictures of his penis in order to secure the role in Nymphomaniac.
• Doing acid in front of Ron Weasley while filming a scene for his other forthcoming move, The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman. "He smashed the place up, got naked and kept seeing this owl," revealed Rupert Grint the other day. "If anything will make you not do drugs, it's watching that." (What a scene it promises to be. I do admire directors' continued commitment to creating situations ripe for the deployment of Ron's single acting expression – the terrified wide eyes then the big gulp. Come on: who hasn't missed that expression? Statistics simply do not lie, and that is £24m-worth of acting chops right there.)
• Admitting to plagiarising all manner of stuff, primarily the work of graphic novelist Daniel Clowes in his most recent short film. Legal letters drew a brief pause, before Shia appeared to tire of humble pie, and begin digressing on the iniquitous fallacy of authorship with inquiries such as: "Should God sue me if I paint a river?" (answer: Yes! Please let this happen – and let Lars Von Trier and Michael Bay co-direct). Last week he hired a skywriter to write I AM SORRY DANIEL CLOWES in the sky. Not in the sky above where Clowes lives, you understand – he seems to be a resident of the San Francisco Bay Area. But in the sky above where the relevant people live – the sky above Hollywood, where those who might one day give Shia a job would see it and think: "What an adorable maverick. I really can't wait to stake three years of my life on entrusting him with a multi-million dollar project."
- Marina Hyde, 'Shia LaBeouf: the most messed-up former Disney star de nos jours', Guardian, 9 January 2014
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