Shia LaBeouf has revealed John Hillcoat enticed him to star in Lawless by promising to make "Goodfellas in the woods".
The former Transformers star, who plays Jack Bondurant, the youngest of three Prohibition-era bootlegging brothers alongside Tom Hardy and Jason Clarke, said it was both his respect for the filmmaker, who directed 2010's The Road, and "a really good pitch" that attracted him to the drama.
"He took me to Hamburger Hamlet and said let's make Goodfellas in the woods. And I was like, 'Word! Let's do that'," he explained at the film's Los Angeles premiere.
Shia added that Lawless, which also stars Guy Pearce, Jessica Chastain and Gary Oldman, was a mix of a Western and gangster movie.
"You have the Western, the cowboy, which is kind of base, caveman thinking, then you get far more convoluted and complicated when you get to a gangster film," he explained.
"Our movie kind of resides in the middle of that, it's still very simple, it's still very base. I like simple movies."
Guy, who plays "extreme" Special Agent Charlie Rakes, revealed the director eased his fears about taking the role too far.
"If you're going to play a role that is this extreme, and this kind of particular, with such disdain and such judgment of the characters around him, to be in the hands of John Hillcoat is a real support," explained the Australian actor.
The film opens in the UK on September 7.