Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Why So Shy-a?

One might expect that the coverboy for the June issue of GQ magazine, who is also prepping for a full-fledged media promo blitz for his new movie Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, wouldn't be running and hiding from the paparazzi as he made his way into a promo event ... but that wasn't the case for Shia LaBeouf who was trying to disappear inside his flannel shirt as hey made his way into the MTV Studios in Times Square, NYC this week:

Photo credit: Splash News

Let's just chalk it up to his quirky nature and not to the possibility that he was trying to be a little butthole. Anyways, yesterday we got our first look at Shia's GQ cover and today we get to see the photos that accompany his coverstory, wherein he talks about, oh you know - this and that, including his love of guns and his new BFF Steven Spielberg:

Shia LaBeouf, who in a couple of huge weekends last year transformed from a likably quick-witted teen actor best known for his work on the Disney Channel into a likably quick-witted 21-year-old action hero and franchise star, jumps into the back of his new Ford F-150 and reaches for his rifle. This isn't a movie set. It has taken us exactly thirty-six minutes to get from first hello to here, a gun-club parking lot thirty miles north of Los Angeles, and that's a real shotgun he's hefting. It seems like a good idea, for many reasons, to watch his every move. Which is how I spot the rest of the equipment scattered around his flatbed. "Dude, why do you have five toilet seats?" LaBeouf sets down his gun and launches into one of his trademark bursts of high-metabolic enthusiasm: "Me and my friends, as an art project, we decided, you know: What canvas has not been really, like, messed with? So we started this toilet-seat collection." Apparently, while other twentysomething Hollywood types busy themselves with checking in to and out of rehab, LaBeouf and his entourage—the same gang of friends he's had since his boyhood in Echo Park, a largely working-class Latino neighborhood that's home to Dodger Stadium—spend their weekends whittling toilet seats and spray-painting them with sayings like pooperazzi and high end for your rear end. Sport shooting hadn't been my idea, nor was it some studio scheme to show the tough side of the boy in the blockbuster. LaBeouf insisted on it: He's taken up the pursuit recently, and as we wait for a ride from the parking lot up to the range, he explains the appeal. "Believe it or not, it's a good date," he says. "I bring girls up here sometimes; it's kind of—it's very invigorating for them." ... "One time Steven told me to come to his house ready to go skeet shooting," says LaBeouf. "I get there and stick my head in to ask if he's ready—and this is classic Spielberg—he says, 'Nope, Shia. I'm trapped!'" LaBeouf then starts playing both parts—concerned protégé and faraway mentor:

"You're trapped? Steven, what are you talking about?"

"I'm trapped back here. Follow my voice."

"Where are you?"

"Over here ... Here ... Here!"

LaBeouf kept following the calls until he got to the director's office. And there was the master himself: shoes off, socks on, dressed in shooting gear, but sitting behind a computer, stuck on the fifteenth level of a first-person shooter called BioShock. "This is like months to get to this level, and he can't get past this one little mysterious spider god, and he's losing his mind. He's like, 'I can't do it, Shia! I can't do it.'" LaBeouf, who got into acting at age 12 partly because he wanted to make enough money to buy himself a Sega Genesis, had found himself a soul mate. And Spielberg, for his part, had clearly settled on a new favorite on-screen avatar.

Aww ... that's a cute story. And if Shia LaBeouf is this tight with Steven Speilberg, well, I think he can count on a pretty fortuitous future in films to look forward to. As I've said before, I've been very impressed with Shia and his movies thus far ... he seems like a dope kid ... I just hope he doesn't let all that fame stuff go to his head and he stays a dope kid. Hangin' with Mr. Spielberg might go a long way in keeping him on the right track. [Source]