James Franco on Shia LaBeouf

February 21, 2014
Shia LaBeouf

Shia LaBeouf’s has been behaving badly of late; from plagiarising to plagiarising his apology for plagiarising, from wearing a brown paper bag over his head at his own movie premier to wearing a brown paper bag over his head as a kind of art installation. His erratic conduct has been fodder for an incredible amount of speculation. With many wondering if he’s on the verge of a breakdown or merely pulling a Joaquin Phoenix.

On Wednesday, James Franco wrote an op-ed in The New York Times somewhat defending Shia’s art by seeing it as an effort of a “young man in a very public profession [trying] to reclaim his public persona.”

He writes:

“As an actor, you are often in the uncomfortable position of being the most visible part of a project while having the least amount of say over its final form. In one of the most striking scenes in “I’m Still Here,” a 2010 film co-written by Joaquin Phoenix that purported to document his life as he retired from acting and became a hip-hop artist, Mr. Phoenix paced around his yard at night, ranting about the submissiveness of being an actor. Even if the conceit was ultimately a joke (and initially it wasn’t clear that it was, for Mr. Phoenix stayed in character in public throughout the filming), the movie was nonetheless earnest about an actor’s need to take back a little bit of power over his image by making such a film.”

You can find the op-ed in question here.