Last week, actor Shia LaBeouf spent three days in a Manhattan movie theater, watching all of his films in reverse chronological order — from the upcoming flick Man Down to 1998’s Breakfast With Einstein. The event drew hundreds of onlookers and inspired countless GIFs, and now that the live-action art project is over, the actor is finally breaking his 72-hour silence.
In an interview on the art site NewHive.com —which hosted the event, dubbed #ALLMYMOVIES — LaBeouf was ecstatic about the experience.
“I can’t articulate how big this was. I don’t even know yet,” he said. “All I know is I feel the weight of it. I’m walking through the streets and I’m smiling, like a cartoon character…I felt extraordinary support.”
Fans and curious New Yorkers waited in lines for up to 10 hours at a time to join LaBeouf in the tiny, 50-seat theater. The 30-year-old actor also broadcast his face live for all 72 hours of the marathon, meaning he had nowhere to hide.
"Once you press play on your life and you open up and there’s that vulnerability and not only are people getting the artistic side of you but they’re getting the human side of you, watching that, you’ve shared everything,” he said. At the same time, LaBeouf says he’s become used to the isolation that comes with being a movie star.
“It’s just lonely, I feel distance in the movie game, because I don’t do it the same way they do it,” he said. “And then you feel exiled from life, because you’re some celebrity character or a f—-k up, and then you get in part of this art crowd and you’re like ‘Oh this [is] where all the people who feel like outsiders go’ and then you go to the outsider club and you’re an outsider in the outsider club.”
The communal experience of watching his movies with other people truly touched the actor/artist; oddly, some of his worst movies produced some of the most profound moments with strangers.
“When the movies started getting s—t and they knew that I felt it too, it was the shared secret that we all had,” he explained. “I’m in the same boat as you, I’m a viewer in this and this is hard for me to watch too. In fact, I’m gonna go take a nap ‘cause I hate myself, not ‘cause I’m tired, but because I’m dying right now. And nobody had a problem with that. When I woke up an hour later and watched Transformers 2 they could feel when I sunk in my seat. That’s not a performative thing. That’s me going through some kind of crisis.”
LaBeouf, however, doesn’t hate all of his old movies; in fact, he felt some nostalgia for one of his earliest projects: A big-screen version of Even Stevens, the Disney Channel show that served as his breakthrough vehicle.
“[That movie] was interesting; it’s all of our childhood,” he said. “It’s mine and it’s yours. It wasn’t just me smiling like that. If you look at the freeze frames, everyone is smiling like wow, I remember [the character] Beans. I remember that stupid-ass song.”
LaBeouf didn’t say much about his future movie plans, but in the end, he didn’t feel all that badly about what he’s done up to this point.
“Coming out of there, it was very humanizing for me,” he said. “I walked out loving myself. And I don’t think I was the only one to feel that.”