TIFF: Shia LaBeouf Gets Bleak at 'Man Down' Presser

The actor said at a Toronto Film Festival press conference that the world's in "a tough spot."

Shia LaBeouf got dark and heavy Tuesday when asked by a reporter at the Toronto Film Festival to predict the future.

"We're in a tough spot. The world's in a tough spot. It's like World War III, right?" LaBeouf told the audience at the press conference for Man Down, Dito Montiel's postapocalyptic portrait of America that had its North American premiere at the festival. "We're in the middle of something really wild going on, more so than ever in my life, I think," he added.

In Man Down, LaBeouf plays a former U.S. Marine discharged with PTSD after a catastrophic error in Afghanistan. Back home in America, he desperately searches for his wife and son. Co-star Kate Mara, who plays his wife in the film, was more reticent with her crystal ball.

"I hope the future of our world is not as pictured as in this picture. Man, I don't know. I'm just an actor," Mara told the presser. Man Down, which also stars Gary Oldman, was written by Adam Simon, who revealed that the inspiration for the film came while he was homeless at one time in his life.

"I was living on the street when I started writing Man Down. In fact, there's a letter that Gabriel [LaBeouf] writes to his son in the film that was a letter that I wrote to my son one night in a parking garage, where I slept, where I stayed the night," recalled Simon.

But what started as Simon's own story soon became about U.S. war veterans he constantly met while homeless. "I felt it was more important to tell the story of veterans that I kept coming in contact with on the streets," he explained.

Simon also took aim during the Man Down presser at politicians in North America who praise war veterans on the campaign trail and then cut disability programs when holding office. Said Simon, "What's deplorable is that we have a history, in our countries, of people waving flags and getting people to vote by invoking the names of our veterans, of our brothers and sisters who go over there and serve, and serve so well, and then they cut programs that take care of veterans."

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