In Hollywood, the buzz is huge for white-hot star Shia LaBeouf. His latest role is in the action packed thriller Disturbia, in which he plays a nosy neighbour on house arrest who has a thing for the hot girl next door, played by Sarah Roemer, as well as suspicions another neighbour could be a serial killer.
The critical acclaim in Tinseltown for his role is high and there is also talk he may play Indiana Jones Jnr in the next installment of the classic films.
Any truth to the rumours? We asked Shia when we caught up with him in Los
Angeles recently and we also spoke about his role in Disturbia, spying on girls and what he couldnâ€™t live without if he was trapped in his house for 90 days and more.
Q : Okay Shia, tell us your creepiest neighbour story.
A: I was living in this apartment with my mum and this guy went to push my mum.
A: We were in the parking lot and I guess my mum got into a fender bender with him and then the guy went crazy. He had a really expensive car. It wasnâ€™t like we couldnâ€™t afford to pay for it. We could have fixed it. He opened his door and pushed my mum. If anybody goes to hit your mother, things happen. That was a bad time in my life and itâ€™s not something Iâ€™m proud of,
but what would you do?
Q: How long ago was this?
A: About two years ago. The guy is actually in jail now – he was a hot head.
Q: If you were trapped in your house for 90 days, what would be the tech gadgets you couldnâ€™t live without?
A: Well, Iâ€™d have to have my dog, Brando. I know heâ€™s not a gadget (laughs) but I love him so much, heâ€™d have to be there. Heâ€™s an English bulldog and heâ€™s the best. Iâ€™d need a television, a DVD player, the Steve McQueen DVD collectorâ€™s set, food, a telephone, guitar, Playstation 2 and books.
Q: What type of books do you like to read?
A: I just bought a book on body language and itâ€™s fascinating. Considering 65 per cent of communication is non verbal, I think itâ€™s a necessity for actors to understand body language. I havenâ€™t finished that book yet, so if I was going to be in my house for 90 days, Iâ€™d make sure that book was in there.
Q: Do you have any experience spying on girls? Be honest!
A: Yeah, on My Space. Thatâ€™s all voyeurism so yeah sure. I also remember being in third grade and a girl would climb a pole and all the boys would get around and be like â€˜Oh, yeah.â€™ (laughs) You know, that type of stuff, but not lately, no.
Q: What kind of music and movies do you like?
A: I like all kinds of stuff. I get surprised all the time by things I donâ€™t think Iâ€™ll then end up liking a lot.
Q: So whatâ€™s on your ipod?
A: A lot of Deep Purple and Led Zeppelin. But itâ€™s not all old school. I like a bit of everything, like System of A Down and Ben Folds.
Q: What preparation did you do for this role in Disturbia?
A: I hung out with some dudes who were on house arrest. I also wore the bracelet for a while, was alone a lot and locked myself in a room. But that was self inflicted so it was completely different. Itâ€™s hard. Iâ€™m not going to say itâ€™s harder than jail, but itâ€™s tough. House arrest is hard because everything is available. Itâ€™s like dangling meat in front of a dog.
The temptation sucks. Thatâ€™s the torture of it.
Q: Did director D.J. Caruso get you to watch any particular movies before filming began?
A: Oh yeah. Straw dogs. We watched a lot of Straw Dogs. I also watched The Conversation because Hackman is insane in that movie because there are all these quiet moments in that film and Hackman says so much without ever saying a word. Of course, I watched Rear Window. And also, Say Anything with Cusack. Then we just mixed it all together.
Q: Itâ€™s also a very physical role. Were you hurt during any of those scenes?
A: Oh yeah. We had back pads on, but we still got hurt. I remember the jagged edges of the house being very sharp and David (Morse) is a big man. Heâ€™s almost seven feet tall, heâ€™s big so thatâ€™s not easy to be able to move him around. Those scenes were tough. It was hard to breathe because there was dust everywhere and we were in a very confined space and it was hard
to breathe and we were going at it for 15 hours doing these fight scenes. Plus I wear contact lenses so some of the time I couldnâ€™t even see during those scenes because my contacts were completely caked in dust.
Q: What was your reaction when you found out Carrie-Anne Moss was going to play your mum?
A: I thought I have to be a badass to have a mum like this. I had a small ego trip going for a while, thinking â€˜Wow, people are going to believe sheâ€™s my
Q: Whatâ€™s Carrie-Anne like to work with?
A; She was great. She was in full on mum mode. She had just given birth and she was nursing. She felt like mum when you hugged her, you know? It wasnâ€™t Trinity from the Matrix.
Q: Thereâ€™s a lot of talk that youâ€™re going to be in the next Indiana Jones. Letâ€™s set the record straight here and now.
A: Itâ€™s just a rumour. Itâ€™s not confirmed and I havenâ€™t been approached. I would tell you, believe me, but I havenâ€™t had the conversation.
Q: What do you like to do when youâ€™re not working and you just want to chill out?
A: Iâ€™m a big sports fan because it doesnâ€™t take much thought. You donâ€™t have to do any self analysing, you can just watch it and enjoy. Iâ€™m a huge baseball fan, a huge LA Dodgers fan. I have season tickets now and Iâ€™m closer to the catcher than the pitcher is. I also really love football, college sports, video games, reading. I play guitar a little bit, just recreational
though, Iâ€™m not very good at it!
Q: How did you start acting? Was this something you always wanted to do?
A: I was broke, really broke. I was living in Echo Park (near downtown Los Angeles) and initially it was financial. My dad was selling drugs and my mum was selling brooches and things. The Rodney King riots had just happened and when we were living in Echo Park, white people werenâ€™t the in thing by any means. There was a huge racial divide. I wanted to move out, but my parents I knew would never make enough money for us to move out, so I started doing stand up comedy at The Ice House, at the HBO Theatre, a place called The Baked Potato and I would do that a lot. I knew this kid who I used to surf with in Malibu and I remember he had the sickest surfboard, the sickest shoes and the sickest car and his mum was always decked out. Looking at his mum, I just used to think I would love to take my mum shopping and get her all those sorts of clothes. This kid was on the TV show Dr Quinn Medicine Woman and he told me the only way to become an actor was to become a model first. I thought there is no way. Thatâ€™s not my route, itâ€™s not going to happen.
Q: So what was your big break?
A: The comedy thing started to happen and one day I said to my mum â€˜I want to do this for real.â€™ She said, â€˜Well Iâ€™m not going to pimp you, go do it then.â€™ I thought fine, it was a challenge to me. So I went to the Yellow Pages, opened up the phone book, saw an agentâ€™s name and pretended to be a manager called Howie Blowfish, saying how great his client Shia was. Of course, the agent knew I was a kid, but she said sheâ€™d never had a kid try and sell himself and that I should come into the office. I went in, did my stand
up routine and the next week I booked Suddenly Susan, X Files and ER. It all went from there.
Q: Youâ€™re being touted as the next big thing in Hollywood, how does that make you feel?
A: As long as I can keep on doing what Iâ€™m doing right now, Iâ€™m one happy guy!