Going forward, both of you have big studio films in the works. How difficult is the transition from a small independent film like Bobby to a larger studio movie? Is that a tough transition to make?
Shia LaBeouf: “Oh my God, yes.”
Brian Geraghty: “A quality project is different and it’s about a different thing. There’s very few moments that you get opportunity to act."
Shia LaBeouf: “Like A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints.”
Brian Geraghty: “You get to act. I felt like there’s a lot of sitting around [on studio films] and one day a week I get to act. This was every day we got to show up and act. Even the little scene with Susan [played by Mary Elizabeth Winstead] were fun. We’d f**k around, we’d turn around, and we’d improvise. [Larger films it’s] like, ‘All right, here’s four lines. Here’s my day to act.’ The rest of it’s f**king swimming. But I don’t mind. I’d rather be doing that than anything else, but you just don’t get the opportunity.”
So independent films are definitely more appealing now?
Brian Geraghty: “They’ve always been like that. I went a different road. I audition for everything.”
Shia LaBeouf: “Again, you’ve got to understand. I still haven’t signed my contract. I haven’t made a dollar off this movie. You’ve got to live. You’ve got to live.”
Well, your next project is a huge studio film - Transformers
Shia LaBeouf: “Again, that’s exactly what that is. If anyone tells you they do that for the art value, that’s bulls**t. It’s f**king painful. To go from Emilio Estevez to Michael Bay is like walking out of, you know, like in a hammock in the sky, hanging out drinking Pina Coladas with Jesus and then getting smacked in the face and thrown in the devil’s s**pile and having to make a movie. I swear to God.”
It affected you that much?
Shia LaBeouf: “I was thinking about quitting this industry. And Michael Bay will tell you that. He’s so hard on his actors, and not in the way that Emilio might be, in that he’ll push you to be something better. Mike is just f**king a hard a**.”
Why didn’t you walk off the set?
Shia LaBeouf: “Because it was too important to my career.”
You’ll never do that again.
Shia LaBeouf: “I mean, until 2 and 3. But just… Look, the four, five months of pain I went through might buy my mom a house and that’s forever, so I’m all right. People go to f**king war, it’s not like I have a hard job. I’m an actor. It’s not the worst thing. We’re sitting at a pool, I didn’t pay for those shoes, I didn’t pay for this. It’s not a bad life, and for a guy that didn’t have s**t going on. There’s certain pains; it’s a tradeoff like anything. There’s things you don’t want to do in your industry.”
Brian Geraghty: “If it’s important to you, it’s going to be painful. I feel sh**ty complaining sometimes, but I complain because I strive to do films like Bobby. You get the perfect situation and then it goes away. …And all these movies now, I never really felt I could believe in myself and not hold myself back. Bobby is definitely a validation. You need reinforcement in life. You show up to an office every day, I wouldn’t like to do that, but yet, you get feedback. You’re going three months without a job go into a dark hole where you get off Transformers and go to the spiral that Shia had…”
Shia LaBeouf: “You get lost in a f**king weird depression, man.”
How did you survive Transformers?
Shia LaBeouf: “I barely made it out of that movie. I was going to a heart specialist; I was having anxiety attacks, losing my mind. And you know, you’re doing physical s**t all day. It’s tough, man. And even Mike at the end, he was like, ‘Look, I know I’m hard on you but you’ll never get this again. If you can go through this with me, you can do anything.’ Sort of like the whole, ‘If you can live in New York you can live anywhere,” type thing. Whatever doesn’t kill you.”
Shia, at this point in your career do you still have to audition?
Shia LaBeouf: “Of course I do. The Guide to Recognizing Your Saints guy wouldn’t even see me. ‘Let me come in, I’ll f**king audition for you.’ He wouldn’t even see me. The guy didn’t want to meet me at all. And I begged him, I begged him. I was the last person who read, but he didn’t want to read me because also at the time I was the ‘Disney’ guy, the Kurt Russell or whatever they were trying to make. I had to break away and that was Guide and that was Bobby. But I’m trying to be Gary Oldman and Hilary Duff, so I’ve got to play a little bit of the politics. I’ve got to do Transformers – I have to - because there’s a part of my audience that’s not gonna go see Bobby or see A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. Part of that audience won’t see it.”
It’s pretty much a sure bet your audience will follow you to Transformers.
Shia LaBeouf: “Yeah. The biggest movie in Hollywood. You don’t get bigger than $250 million robots blowing up the world. I don’t plan on making any other – I mean, I’m going to do Transformers 2 and 3 so that will be my Lord of the Rings.”
You’ve signed on to 2 and 3?
Shia LaBeouf: “Yeah, I’m gonna do it. That will be my Lord of the Rings and then I’ll just make indies the rest of my time, for a long time. Elijah [Wood’s] straight. Elijah can do whatever he wants. Why? Because he’s in one of the biggest, the top five grossers ever. People in China know who he is and people in Iceland know who he is. He can do whatever he wants. That’s my whole thing is I’ve got to get to the point where people in Iceland will go see Guide to Recognizing Your Saints. That’s what I’m trying to do.
It’s a tough deal but again, it was tough to go from the kid thing to the adult thing. That was the toughest jump you can do in this business.”