James Franco has supported actor Shia LaBeouf’s recent art-project but hoped his headline
grabbing antics are not an indication of a meltdown.
LaBeouf, 27, raised concerns about his well-being for his abrupt exit from a press conference and later his appearance at the Berlin film festival red carpet for ‘Nymphomaniac’.
The actor wore a cutout bag with ‘I am not famous anymore’ written on it. He took his bizarre behaviour further by staging an art show called ‘#IAmSorry’ that involved having
him sit opposite visitors to a Los Angeles gallery while he wore a similar bag over his head and stared at them through cutout eye holes.
Franco in an article in the New York Times said though some of LaBeouf’s actions may be questionable but being an actor he is inclined to take an empathetic view of his behaviour.
“Any artist, regardless of his field, can experience distance between his true self and his public persona. But because film actors typically experience fame in greater measure, our personas can feel at the mercy of forces far beyond our control.
“Our rebellion against the hand that feeds us can instigate a frenzy of commentary that sets in motion a feedback loop: acting out, followed by negative publicity, followed by acting out in response to that publicity, followed by more publicity, and so on,” Franco wrote.
The ‘Transformers’ star’s erratic behaviour started amid accusations that he had plagiarised graphic novelist Daiel Clowes work for his short film ‘Howard Cantour.com’.
LaBeouf soon hit Twitter to apologise, conceding that he had “neglected to follow proper accreditation” but it later came to notice that the words of his apology were taken from
someone else’s writing. He went a step ahead by skywriting ‘I am sorry Daniel Clowes’, which was followed by his verbal fights with other people on Twitter.
Franco said he understood LaBeouf’s need to overcome the public perception of his transformation from a child star to an adult.
“LaBeouf has been acting since he was a child, and often an actor’s need to tear down the public creation that constrains him occurs during the transition from young man to adult. I think LaBeouf’s project, if it is a project, is a worthy one. I just hope that he is careful not to use up all the good will he has gained as an actor in order to show us that he is an artist,” Franco said.