Comedian Defends Crashing Shia LaBeouf's #IAmSorry: He's 'Not a Sacred Cow' (Video)
What's going on with Shia LaBeouf these days, anyway?
That's the key question comedian Hal Rudnick set out to answer when he brought his camera to LaBeouf's buzzed-about (and bizarre) performance art piece, #IAmSorry, where the actor has been allowing people to sit with him in a room.
"Going in there, I just wanted to be honest and try to have a straightforward conversation -- hey what's going on here? I genuinely want to know," Rudnick tells The Hollywood Reporter.
The actor has been at the center of a series of head-turning incidents in recent weeks -- from a skywriting apology to Daniel Clowes, the author he plagiarized, to declaring he was retiring from public life, to showing up at a red carpet event with a paper bag on his head.
Rudnick's video, which is closing in on 500,000 views in its first 48 hours, is both hilarious and uncomfortable, with the actor staring silently as the comedian peppers him with questions and pulls that infamous paper bag from the tuxedo-wearing LaBeouf 's head.
Online, Rudnick has faced a bit of a backlash from some who thought the video was mean-spirited. Rudnick told LaBeouf that he couldn't forgive him for Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and showed him a clip from Even Stevens, asking what happened to that "awesome little kid." But the comedian says the video doesn't come from a bad place.
"I want to reiterate that I legitimately hope that he is OK -- but it's not really clear what he's doing. Shia LaBeouf is not a sacred cow. This smacks of something potentially very manipulative," says Rudnick. "At the end of the day, we just wanted to go in there and speak honestly. You're giving us an opportunity? OK. I'm going to go in there and say what a lot of people want to say."
Rudnick says he waited in line for four hours outside the Beverly Boulevard location before being ushered into a room with LaBeouf. Like everyone else in line, he was given no time limit on how long he could spend with the actor. Rudnick spent just a few minutes, but others he talked to took as long as an hour. As far as Rudnick knows, LaBeouf never spoke to anyone, though he apparently would give small physical acknowledgments, such as leaning in for a hug if someone wanted one.
Rudnick, who has starred in numerous online videos for ScreenJunkies, previously made headlines at a Last Vegas press junket, where he convinced Morgan Freeman, Robert De Niro, Michael Douglas and Kevin Kline to read lines from recent pop songs.
Rudnick admits asking De Niro to recite Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball" was nerve-wracking, but says with that or the LaBeouf piece, he just puts worries out of his mind.
"It's the difference between getting a piece and not getting a piece. It seems funny to say, but if I let Robert De Niro and Morgan Freeman bully me, then I might not have a piece. So I just have to go in there like it is 100 miles an hour and say 'all right here we go, let's have fun guys.' "
There's still one day left to see LaBeouf's installation, located at 7354 Beverly Blvd. It runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.