Shia LaBeouf Explains 'Transformers' Nap During Movie Marathon: "I Hate Myself"
The actor opened up about his expectations for his film festival, what the experience was like watching 'The Even Stevens Movie' and his other films, and how he felt after the marathon ended.
Shia LaBeouf has opened up about what it was like for him to watch all of his movies, in reverse chronological order, at his #ALLMYMOVIES festival last week at New York's Angelika Film Center.
The actor tells NewHive co-founder and CEO Zach Verdin that he went into the marathon thinking people might throw popcorn at him but left it feeling a collective experience of joy. (NewHive hosted the livestream of LaBeouf watching his films.)
"I always go into these things every time — and this is my self-hate at work — what if they light my hair on fire? … This is a genuine fear of mine. I think people hate me. That’s just what goes on in my head. And all I want to do is be liked," LaBeouf says. "I walked out loving myself. Not in some grandiose, you’re f—ing awesome way, but in like, you’re a part of a community. You’re a part of this human thing."
The actor adds that he was so happy after the marathon concluded, with a sense that people supported him, that he even broke from tradition and provided his real name the next time he ordered coffee.
"I’m walking through the streets and I’m smiling, like a cartoon character...I felt extraordinary support.... Once you press play on your life and you open up and there’s that vulnerability, and not only are people getting the artistic side of you but they’re getting the human side of you, watching that, you’ve shared everything," LaBeouf says in the interview, conducted a day after the festival ended. "And the fact that you can walk out of there and people are still nodding at you and giving you a thumbs-up…it’s something else. I really don’t even know what it is yet, because I haven’t sat on it or done any writing or thought about it at all. I just know if I can explain a feeling, I feel lighter today. I feel love today. It’s as simple as this: I used to order my coffee and when they’d say, 'Hey what’s your name?' I’d say James, because I didn’t want them to say my name."
He explains that the connected feeling he had with the audience developed over the course of the marathon. With the first film, Man Down, which has only played at a couple of film festivals and hasn't yet been released, LaBeouf says, "no one was watching the movie."
"Everyone who came into the theater sat down and stared at me. And I felt it," he says. "And then they left within ten minutes, because they expected me to do some high-wire act. That’s not what we were there to do."
By the middle, people started laughing with him, until, LaBeouf says, "nobody in the room was focused on me."
"Not just in art but in songs, in movies, in theater, what makes it great is when there’s a shared secret in the room," he says. "And what happened in that room for those couple of days was we all shared something; we knew it to be true, we didn’t need to explain it to one another, and that made it awesome."
That collective experience included suffering through movies LaBeouf said he found hard to watch. During a couple of those, LaBeouf took a nap, but it wasn't because he was tired, he says. It was because he thought, "I hate myself...I'm dying right now."
"When I woke up an hour later and watched Transformers 2, they could feel when I sunk in my seat," he says. "That’s me going through some kind of crisis. And I’m not the only one. I remember right before I fell asleep, I looked next to me and the guy next to me was falling asleep. You can see it on the screenshot; we’re both asleep. And the guy behind us is asleep."
LaBeouf and his fellow festival-goers also shared in the enjoyment of watching The Even Stevens Movie.
"It’s all of our childhood. It’s mine and it’s yours," he says. "It wasn’t just me smiling like that. If you look at the freeze frames, everyone is smiling like, 'Wow, I remember Beans. I remember that stupid-ass song.' We were all looking at our yearbook together, and we’re all in the yearbook."