Movie Editor's Blog

Movie Editor's Blog

Shia LaBeouf’s 6-step guide to becoming a serious actor

All actors, even comedians and action stars, get the urge to prove their dramatic prowess at some point in their career.

Someone like Eddie Murphy, who's made his vast fortune dressing up as old women and falling over, still sees himself as an 'artist' and takes the occasional 'serious' role to prove he has raw acting talent.

[Related story: Shia LaBeouf to shoot real sex scenes in von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac']

Even with this in mind, Shia LaBeouf is going overboard.

Shia of course starred in Michael Bay's 'Transformers' trilogy, which made tons of cash but had a torrid time with film critics.  He's extremely keen to distance himself from the robot franchise in ANY WAY POSSIBLE.  Cue a few months of nutty antics and bonkers interviews that (he hopes) help to prove his thesp credentials.

So Shia, what is your six-step plan to becoming an acting legend?

Step 1: Grow a beard

This is the bread and butter of serious acting. Excessive face fuzz is how we differentiate between the men and the boys, the wizards from the men, and serious actors from wannabe celebs. Name a hardcore male thesp who hasn't adorned his chin with facial furniture and we'll give you a ham sandwich.

Shia's beard came into being thanks to the recent filming of 'Lawless', in which he stars alongside man-mountain Tom Hardy. We're not saying it was some kind of competition, but Hardy definitely won.

He has since styled his former woodsman-like jaw bush into something simpler, probably for an art house role that doesn't require such wondrous beardage, but we reckon it's only a matter of time before it returns.

How much acting prowess dwelled within the beard is yet to be seen by the masses but so far reviews of 'Lawless' have been kind to The Beef.

Step 2: Slag off your old films

To be in the position to slag off your own films and get away with it, an actor typically needs to be past 50 and well-respected to the point that his or her opinion genuinely matters. Shia LaBeouf was not in this category when he remarked that he, Steven Spielberg and everyone else involved in 'Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull' "collectively dropped the ball" on the project.

His co-star Harrison Ford aka Han Solo aka Indiana Bloody Jones wasn't happy in the slightest with young Shia, saying, "As an actor, I think it's my obligation to support the film without making a complete ass of myself." Now THAT is how to lay down the law!

He could have shut up and simply got on with making serious films (see Robert Pattinson), but where's the fun in that?

Step 3: Drop acid and swig moonshine (method acting)

Method acting probably didn't factor into the 'Transformers' films, unless Shia decided to be a whiny git all day (which he may have). But it has since. 'Lawless' takes place in depression-era America and to prepare for the bootlegging role he drank actual moonshine to experience the desired effects.

"Sean Penn actually strapped up to that [electric] chair in 'Dead Man Walking'," he told USA Today, "These are the guys that I look up to."

Opposite Rupert Grint in upcoming indie flick 'The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman', Shia's title character takes acid. So naturally the actor decided to use a day off to prepare… and trip balls. "There's a way to do an acid trip like 'Harold & Kumar', and there's a way to be on acid." Okay Shia.

Step 4: Star in arty foreign music videos...nude

Many actors over the years have appeared in music videos. Joan Collins waltzed her way into Badly Drawn Boy's 'Spitting in the Wind', Angelina Jolie was in Meat Loaf's 'Rock & Roll Dreams Come True' and Robert Downey Jr. turned up in Elton John's 'I Want Love'. It's a perfectly nice thing to do.

The difference between those actors and our Shia was that they remained clothed. The video for Icelandic megastars Sigur Ros' 'Fjogur Piano' required (apparently) a blockbuster star to prance about to their melancholic music completely starkers.

Shia told Associated Press that he didn't get into acting "to be a porn guy," while discussing the video. Which leads us nicely into...

Step 5: Have 'real sex' in your next film

On the grand scale of going that extra mile for a part, having unsimulated sex on-set is up there with Daniel Day-Lewis living in the woods for six months in preparation for 'The Last of the Mohicans'. For the record, Day-Lewis wins, as that's pretty intense.

The required acts are for 'The Nymphomaniac', a typically controversial Lars von Trier production that also stars Nicole Kidman, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Stellan Skarsgård.

It is not yet clear which one of those lucky actors he's been asked to sleep with.

He won't be the first or last to do the dirty for a film but it's quite a commitment to his craft, especially since he sent the Danish director a sex tape of him and his (probably quite miffed) girlfriend Karolyn Pho to nab the role.

Step 6: Cardigans

Not so much an acting thing as a requirement of all arty types. The humble cardigan has been the unfortunate calling-card of not-quite-warm-enough intellectuals for years now and combined with a beard, well, you might as well have a degree!

Cardigans are a must for all aspiring super-thesps. They scream "I am here. I am an artiste" and no self-respecting actor should be without one.

Do all the above and Oscar glory, we assume, is assured.