James Franco knows a thing or two about subverting people’s expectations of him. While even he doesn’t know exactly why Shia LaBeouf is acting the way he is, that didn’t stop Franco from commenting on it.
The former “Freaks and Geeks” star penned a New York Times op-ed about LaBeouf, saying that he hopes the one-time TV actor is participating in elaborate “performance art, one in which a young man in a very public profession tries to reclaim his public persona.”
“Mr. LaBeouf has been acting since he was a child, and often an actor’s need to tear down the public creation that constrains him occurs during the transition from young man to adult,” Franco writes in the piece. “I think Mr. LaBeouf’s project, if it is a project, is a worthy one. I just hope that he is careful not to use up all the good will he has gained as an actor in order to show us that he is an artist.”
Franco says that he too has tried to do similar sorts of rebellions, particularly in taking a role in “General Hospital” back in 2009.
“At times I have felt the need to dissociate myself from my work and public image,” Franco writes. “In 2009, when I joined the soap opera ‘General Hospital’ at the same time as I was working on films that would receive Oscar nominations and other critical acclaim, my decision was in part an effort to jar expectations of what a film actor does and to undermine the tacit — or not so tacit — hierarchy of entertainment.”
He continues, “Because film actors typically experience fame in greater measure, our personas can feel at the mercy of forces far beyond our control. Our rebellion against the hand that feeds us can instigate a frenzy of commentary that sets in motion a feedback loop: acting out, followed by negative publicity, followed by acting out in response to that publicity, followed by more publicity, and so on.”
Do you think LaBeouf’s actions are just an elaborate performance art piece?