Shia LaBeouf, who got his start on the Disney Channel and went on to star in the franchise-that-wouldn't-die--"Transformers"--is moving on to more gritty roles lately, steering clear of the family films that made him famous in favor of graphic nudity and violence. And fans are pleased.
LaBeouf is getting good reviews for "Lawless", his most recent film, set in Prohibition-era Virginia and based on the Matt Bondurant story "The Wettest County In The World". The bloody crime drama also stars Thomas Hardy and Gary Oldman, and was written for the screen by musician Nick Cave. The film sets off a new precedent in LaBeouf's career, in which he embodies his characters by way of method acting just as his idols do. For instance, he procured some moonshine to try in preparation for "Lawless", and tripped on LSD before beginning his role in "The Necessary Death Of Charlie Countryman".
"There's a way to do an acid trip like Harold & Kumar, and there's a way to be on acid," he said. "What I know of acting, Sean Penn actually strapped up to that (electric) chair in Dead Man Walking. These are the guys that I look up to."
As for his role in an upcoming Lars Von Trier film--"Nymphomaniac"--LaBeouf will be getting down and dirty as much as the law will allow. He's already tested the nudity waters with his turn in the Sigur Ros video for “Fjögur Píanó”, and now he's moving on even further.
"[The movie] is what you think it is," he said. "It is Lars von Trier, making a movie about what he's making. For instance, there's a disclaimer at the top of the script that basically says we're doing it for real. Everything that is illegal, we'll shoot in blurred images. Other than that, everything is happening."