Shia LaBeouf might not be George Clooney-level famous, but there are still few actors in Hollywood that attract as much attention and interest as the ex-Transformers star. As such, much has been written over the years about some of his stranger life choices, more challenging acting decisions and his brushes with the law. To many who have actually worked with the actor, however, the story is very different.
We recently sat down with Tyler Nilson and Michael Schwartz, the directors of the delightful Peanut Butter Falcon, and they had nothing but gushing praise for the talented actor.
Shia is an artist. He’s an artist who cares a lot. He will give you everything. I think we got along with him really well because we will do the same thing… He never showed up late. There was no trailer. He left his phone at home.
There was no half ass. There was no mailing it in… Shia showed up and arguably maybe cared more than us… We fed off each other… It’s not uncommon for people to give 85 percent… Shia was like ‘This isn’t a paycheck’. He showed up and was like, ‘I’m gonna give you every fucking bit of me.’… We were riding in a 1972 Ford F-150. There wasn’t enough room. He sat in the back on an old gross wet tire, talking about life and God and fishing and love for 6 hours while driving down to work on a crab boat for a month to prepare.
The best thing about Shia is how willing he is to go all-in on whatever he’s working on. If he’s going to agree to do something, he’s going to give it everything he has, even if it means working on a crab boat for a month. That’s not the level of dedication most actors have, and it’s a credit to him that it doesn’t result in overacting either.
One of the worst things an actor can do is get too committed to a project and become so obsessed with portraying the gritiness or the eccentricities of whoever the character is that the humanity and relatability are lost. Shia LaBeouf is almost always able to find that balance, and it really comes through in The Peanut Butter Falcon, a movie that doesn’t feel the need to say everything it’s trying to get across.
The Peanut Butter Falcon follows two unlikely travel partners, one with Down Syndrome trying to run toward a future in wrestling and one with emotional scars trying to run away from his past. It opens today in select theaters, and it currently sits at 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. That number will almost certainly go down a bit as more critics see it, but even so, it’s safe to say the movie is very, very well-liked and appreciated. CinemaBlend gave it 4 stars, and we’d highly encourage you to check it out. It’s worth going out of your way to track down, both for how well the film is put together and for all the great acting performances including LaBeouf’s.