Shia LaBoeuf wouldn’t be top of anyone’s list if you ask them to name legendary actors. After all, he’s been in three Transformers movies, the worst of the Indiana Jones movies and a number of other subpar action vehicles. However, I think that he’s been dragged down by material, or that he’s learnt a lot in the half a decade since those movies.
The reason I think that? Yesterday I watched Sia’s new music video, Electric Heart and got chills. The video groups together a bunch of different things that I’m not a fan of. Sia’s music isn’t my thing, being too pop. Contemporary dancing is the reason I stopped watching So You Think You Can Dance (I call it flappy dancing). And it’s all about something deep and angsty, which is usually too self-involved to interest me.
However, LaBoeuf and and Maddie Ziegler gave such a great performance that they won me over. I didn’t know the backstory when I watched it, but I got chills from their performance. I have to admit that I didn’t understand what it was about, but I had a gut reaction to it when I watched it. A bit like a stirring opera in Italian or German. I’ve no idea what they’re singing about, but it’s somehow better as a pure emotional experience. So I think you should watch before I go on:
After I read a little, apparently Sia’s father suffers from mental illness and this is a portrayal of his trying to break free of it and failing. Quite frankly, it’s a great video and Shia LaBoeuf is half of the reason for that. So I’ve changed my opinion on LaBoeuf, who previously I might have said was the Justin Bieber of acting. Not bad, just not my thing.
LaBoeuf, then, has the potential to become a legendary actor if he keeps pushing himself like this. A bit like Heath Ledger was towards the end of his life, LaBoeuf is trying to become more than a pretty-boy movie star. To become an artist. Sometimes that’s self-involved and unbearable like his paperbag experiment, but he’s trying. Which is more than a lot of other middle-of-the-road actors are doing.
Be honest, would you rather have someone non-offensive and bland, who appears in romantic comedies and action movies, never challenging you in any way? Of course you would. Almost all of us would. There’s a tendency to call people who try strange things egotists and weirdos.
That might be true. But the people who do that run the risk of becoming legendary, because they stand out from the crowd and might just discover something new about the world and themselves.
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