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Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - Shia LaBeouf interview

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

Interview by Rob Carnevale

SHIA LaBeouf talks to us about reuniting with Michael Bay for blockbuster sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and taking the knocks – including a pole in the face that almost left him blind in one eye.

He also discusses how he’s been handling his fame since the first movie, why talent is a crazy word to him, and why the Internet is far from truthful…

Q. You have an injured hand in the film, which you still have now, so were you injured in the making of this movie?
Shia LaBeouf: Yes, beyond my hand. I remember we were filming in New Mexico and we were in the middle of a chaotic action scene and I wound up impaling my face on a spike. I was surrounded by Seals and they’ve all seen some really wild things, but I remember just looking at them with this thing in my face and they were grimacing. When I left the military hospital, I had a guy go like this after he stitched me up [gestures very small] and I said: “What’s that?” And he said: “Blindness…” So yes, you get beat up doing these things but that’s the temperament of this movie. It’s an aggressive movie and it’s an aggressive shoot.

Q. Did you have to do any special training to get into shape?
Shia LaBeouf: No, I’m not playing a gladiator. I’m playing an ordinary teenager in an extraordinary situation. I smoked cigarettes at the time, which Mike [Bay] hated, so I had to start chewing tobacco instead.

Q. Did the injury affect the stunts you could do?
Shia LaBeouf: First of all, when you break your hand it’s hard to button your pants, let alone do something like this. But you’ve got to do it, so you just buck up and get through it. There’s only so much you can fake. We had three cameras going at once and it takes a long time to rig some of the stunts, so you have to get on and do it. I also had a fantastic stuntman who took plenty of abuse.

Q. What was it like working with Michael Bay for a second time?
Shia LaBeouf: Mike and I have a big brother/little brother type of thing going on. We get into it sometimes. He’s like a football coach. He’s just really hard on you and that takes some getting used to. Actors are used to being cuddled and they don’t get that on these sets. There’s a real masculine energy on these movies. But I enjoy the hell out of it, I really do. It’s like skydiving for me.

Q. You were quoted a while back saying that you thought it was more about luck than talent. Do you still feel that way?
Shia LaBeouf: Talent just seems like a crazy ass word. I just think that determination is a better word. If you ever see boxers… they are ordinary men with extraordinary determination. Talent is just a crazy word.

Q. Your career has taken off astronomically since the first movie. How are you dealing with the newfound attention?
Shia LaBeouf: Well, I didn’t get into this to be half successful. I’m very fortunate and blessed. I’m not the most gifted performer in the world. I’m just very lucky to get the opportunities and I’m happy to just keep working.

Q. What were your toys growing up?
Shia LaBeouf: I had a Bumblebee triple changer, I had some Yogi Bear. I was a Transformers fan. That was the dude Barby, so everybody had it [laughs].

Q. There’s a line in the movie that states “the Internet is all truth”. Do you read all the stuff that’s out there about you? And what’s the most outrageous untruth you’ve seen?
Shia LaBeouf: I alluded to the fact that my mum was very attractive in an interview once and I read online that we were having sex. I thought that was pretty hysterical. We laughed this past Mother’s Day about it.

Read our review of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

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