Last week, we were reminded that Shia LaBeouf may have lost his damn mind. In case you hadn’t heard, Louis Stevens attended Thursday’s performance of Cabaret on Broadway, but he wasn’t able to see how it ended since he was escorted out of the theater by police, arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Earlier in the day, he was spotted chasing down a homeless man (more on that later), and this was just in a day’s work. This past year, he’s been doing a lot of crazy things, so one must ask – is this real or all for show?
Two cases we can look at are the Joaquin Phoenix complex and the Amanda Bynes complex.
In late 2008, Joaquin announced he was retiring from acting in order to focus on his music career, which, okay a lot of actors do. But JP wanted to become a rapper. Like a legit hip-hop star. He started appearing in public with the long hair and scruffy beard, as seen above, and had a series of super odd appearances, including the infamous David Letterman interview in 2009.
In 2010, the film I’m Still Here by actor/director Casey Affleck (and JP’s brother-in-law) debuted at the Venice Film Festival. It wasn’t until after the movie was released that Casey revealed that JP had gone through two years of this performance art as an uber Joaquin Phoenix and it was all for the sake of the movie. That’s right kids, JP hadn’t actually lost his mind.
Amanda’s fall from fame began around 2012, when she was arrested and charged for a DUI. That same year, she was charged for two alleged hit and run incidents, which were later dismissed after reaching a settlement with the victims. Her license was suspended, but was caught and cited for driving on it and had her car impounded.
In 2013, she was arrested for criminal possession of marijuana, attempted tampering with evidence, and reckless endangerment after she threw a bong out the window of her 36th floor apartment in Manhattan (which she insisted was a vase). That summer in California, Bynes allegedly started a small fire in the driveway of some person’s house and was hospitalized and put under a 3 day mental health evaluation hold. She was later transferred to a “specialized treatment in a private facility” outside of Los Angeles and in December, she was released to her parents, who were granted a temporary conservatorship over her.
She now takes classes at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in LA (aka the same school Lauren Conrad went to).
Alright, with this information, let’s take a look at a timeline of Shia LaBeouf’s troubles over the past year, and try to determine if he’s more of a Phoenix or Bynes…
February 2013: LaBeouf’s Broadway Beef with Baldwin
Shia was due to star alongside Alec Baldwin and Tom Sturridge in the play Orphans, making his Broadway debut. However shortly into rehearsals and weeks before previews were to begin, the producers announced that Shia was leaving the show “due to creative differences”, but rumors swirled that Shia had a dramatic bust-up with Alec, thus leading to his firing.
Ben Foster ultimately replaced him, but Shia didn’t go down with a fight. That same day, he posted his audition for the show on his Twitter (the vid has since been taken down). Two days later, he returned with a screenshot of an email from the show’s director, who wrote, “I’m too old for disagreeable situations. You’re one hell of a great actor. Alec is who he is. You are who you are. You two are incompatible. I should have known it.”
In the e-mail between Shia and Alec, Shia seemingly apologizes, Alec accepts, and Shia wishes him good luck on the show.
Shia even posted an e-mail from Tom Sturridge saying what an honor it was to work with him in the brief time they had together. Shia continued talking about theatre/the craft on Twitter:
the theater belongs not to the great but to the brash. acting is not for gentlemen, or bureaucratic-academics. what they do is antiart. actors used to be buried with a stake through the heart. those peoples performances so troubled on-lookers that they feared their ghosts. those actors moved the audience not such that they were admitted to graduate school, or recieved a complimentary review. but such that the audience feared for their soul. now that seems to me something to aim for. invent nothing, deny nothing, speak up, stand up, stay out of school.
What’s interesting about this is that Shia’s “apology” is eerily similar to that from an Esquire article from 2009 by Tom Chiarella called “What is a Man”. Take note of this.
December 2013: Plagiarism Accusations
Shia debuted his first project as a director online with a short film on HowardCantour.com. Except the only problem was that his directing debut was exactly the same as author Daniel Clowes’ 2007 graphic novella called “Justin M. Damiano”. Like same dialogue, visuals – everything was the same.
But Shia, thinking another apology would clear it all up, yet again took to Twitter and said:
Oh yeah, he plagiarized the apology AGAIN – but decided Yahoo! Answers was the way to go this time? Legit copied and pasted some rando talking about plagiarism.
Later in December, it was revealed that comic books Shia wrote in 2012 were ALSO a rip off from text from authors Charles Bukowski and a French writer named Benoit Duteurtre, and his mea culpa on Twitter came in the form of this:
^^ Tiger Woods’ apology for cheating^^
^^ Former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara about the execution of the Vietnam War, as written in his memoir. ^^
Not to mention his apologies in the form of Kanye, Shepard Fairey and Mark Zuckerberg.
January 2014: Sky High Apologies
In addition to his Twitter “apology”, Shia made a grander gesture to the graphic novelist by hiring a skywriter over Los Angeles to write “I am sorry Daniel Clowes”
February 2014: I Am Not Famous Anymore
Shia attends the Berlin Film Festival for his new film Nymphomaniac (which is weird enough on its own). During the press conference, a reporter asked him about all the sex scenes in the movie and Shia oddly quoted a famous French soccer player Eric Cantona, and said, “When the seagulls follow the trawler, it’s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea,” then just up and left.
Later that night, he returned to promote the film on the red carpet – but wore this accessory that hasn’t exactly become a trend since.
A few days later, back in Los Angeles, Shia opened up his own art exhibit called #IAMSORRY, which again, was extremely similar to artist Marina Abramovic’s famous 2010 installation/documentary “The Artist is Present” at the MoMa in New York, where she sat at a table and visitors could sit across from her and just stare at each other.
In Shia’s version, visitors entered the space and were asked to pick an item off a table, including a “leather whip, a pair of pliers, a vase of daisies, an Optimus Prime Transformer toy, a bowl of Hershey’s kisses, a bowl of folded slips of paper containing tweets about LaBeouf, a large bottle of Jack Daniels, a small bottle of Brut cologne, a pink ukulele, and the graphic novel The Death-Ray by Daniel Clowes,” according to Buzzfeed.
In the next room was Shia, sitting at a table, weawring a tux and paper bag over his head just like the one at the Berlin Film Festival. The visitor would then sit across from him and according to most reports, he would just sit there, but some lucky folks were able to get him to take the bag off or get a handshake.
True story: this art exhibit was not that far from my office, and I drove past it but was too scared/didn’t want to wait in line to go in! I’m not good with eye contact anyways.
It had been a while since Shia had caused a stir – mainly because he was off filming a movie with Brad Pitt in Europe, and Mrs. Jolie was probs setting him straight over there. But then we were all reminded last week that Shia Shenans is alive and well.
Before his Cabaret incident, Shia began loading up on margaritas while watching the World Cup at a bar in NYC late Thursday afternoon. By 5pm, he was outside another bar, chatting people up and taking pix/videos with people on the sidewalk.
And then… Shia allegedly chased down a homeless man in Times Square for a bag of McDonald’s… you can view the bizzare video here.
As if that activity wasn’t enough for one day, Shia went to see Michelle Williams and Alan Cumming in Cabaret, which takes place at the Studio 54 theater. Because it’s supposed to feel like a – cabaret – the set up isn’t like a traditional theater, and the actors, including MC Alan Cumming, go through the audience during their performance. According to eyewitnesses, Shia was smoking a joint and slapping Alan on the ass as he walked by. He also apparently was yelling lewd things to the Kit Kat Girls on stage, and during Michelle’s solo, he was dropping bottles and falling out of his chair.
Once the police had him in custody, he was yelling a bunch of “Fuck yous!” and calling them the F word, screaming, “This is fucking bullshit. Do you know my life? Do you know who the fuck I am? Do you know who I am?” Oh lawd.
Shia spent the night in jail and on Friday, he came before a judge and was officially charged with criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and harassment.
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So, here we are, folks. On a scale of Joaquin Phoenix to Amanda Bynes, just how crazy has Shia become? While we can just make assumptions as mere bystanders, my best guess is that it’s leaning more towards a Joaquin than anything. The fact that he keeps using plagiarized apologies, that he seemed completely normal to fans on the street last week – it all seems more calculated than mere insanity. But who knows, he fooled me when he played a mentally challenged kid in the classic DCOM Tru Confessions. What do I know? Actually – here’s what I do know. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a secret documentary or he clearly needs professional help:
Get it together, Holes.