Shia LaBeouf and I have a rocky relationship. That’s right, I said relationship, and that’s because we’ve had some issues over the past couple of years.
When Shia was filming “Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps” here in New York back in 2009, I made more than one effort to meet him on set. I had heard that he wasn’t exactly the easiest person to try and meet on set, but he has been one of my favorite actors since I can remember, so I figured why not? Trying never hurt anyone. Plus, 9 times out of 10, as long as you don’t completely interrupt a scene, actors are usually more than happy to stop on their way to and from lunch, or when they are done for the day. Well, not Shia LaBeouf. The first time I saw him on set I froze up. I had been meeting a friend for lunch in Chelsea and as we stood on a corner figuring out which direction we should go, there was Shia LaBeouf and Carey Mulligan walking across the street towards us. It was one of those surreal moments that I remember only in slow motion. Once they hit our corner Carey went her own way to her trailer, and Shia crossed the street in the direction we were headed – so duh, we followed him. We thought that if we caught him at his trailer he would be nice enough to do it. He was, after all, alone. No security, no PA, no nothing. Just Shia. He practically jogged to his trailer though, and when he got there he realized it was locked, and when he turned to see if anyone was coming he more or less gave us a look that, if looks could kill, would have shot us dead on site. I can take a hint, so we left.
The next time I tried him on set was when he was filming in the Central Park zoo with Michael Douglas. We got to watch them film that scene where they are walking passed the seals eating hot dogs about 45 times before they wrapped for lunch, and we waited on a bench at the entrance to the zoo for them to come back to set once lunch was over. We got to say hi to Oliver Stone, who was really nice, and Michael Douglas chatted with us a bit on his way back to set, too. Then Shia was on his way back and we thought – This is it! – because if Oliver and Michael were being so accommodating, why wouldn’t Shia? We said hi to him as he approached us with a big, scary looking PA, and he said hi back but wouldn’t even look at us. We pushed anyway – hey, maybe he was shy? – and asked for a picture and his exact response, word for word, again without looking at either of us, was the following: “No. I’m walking.” Oh. Okay. Um, I can take two hints – so I never went back to that set again!
When Wall Street 2 was finally released, June and I actually had tickets to the premiere and the after party. Shia showed up late to the premiere and never even came inside to the theater to watch the film, and he didn’t attend the after party.
This June when Shia and his Transformers co-stars were in the city to promote and premiere the film I figured I would give it one last go. I, like most Shia fans, had seen that he happens to be very friendly when he is filming Transformers so I decided that it’s got to be a Michael Bay thing. Maybe Michael Bay sits him down at the beginning and is like, “I don’t care if you don’t want to meet fans, you will do so on my set.” Imagine that in a really dramatic and stern Michael Bay voice, okay? I had heard he would be at Letterman and left my (at the time) office nice and early for what I described then as a “long lunch” and grabbed my spot on the barricade. Not only did Shia LaBeouf stop for fans at Letterman, but he fought a ton of autograph sellers off for being too aggressive and practically trampling his fans, and he was taking peoples cameras to take the pictures himself. Not for nothing, but he takes a pretty decent selfer!
Stay tuned for #2 tomorrow!
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