Wednesday 18 September 2019

Shia LaBeouf says watching all his own films helped him shed his self-hatred


Clare Cullen

Shia LaBeouf has spoken out about his 'All My Movies' art installation, saying it has helped him come to terms with his feelings about himself.

In an interview for 'New Hive', the website that streamed the #AllMyMovies project, LaBeouf  revealed that the experience has helped him to come to terms with himself.

"All I want to do is be liked".

"This is a genuine fear of mine... I think people hate me".

The actor has spoken out in the past about feeling lonely and "exiled from life" as a result of the celebrity experience, once infamously wearing a paper bag over his head which read 'I am not a celebrity anymore'.

He explained that watching his films with crowds of strangers has helped him to fight the feelings of not belonging.

"I can’t articulate how big this was. I don’t even know yet. 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".

"I just know if I can explain a feeling, I feel lighter today. I feel love today".

He explained that his self-worth was so low that he would order his coffee under a different name.

"I used to order my coffee and when they’d say, “Hey what’s your name?” I’d say James... And today it’s just something different, it’s as simple as that. All of the other shows never changed my coffee order name. This sh*t changed my coffee order name, which in turn, changed my sense of self".

He told New Hive that the event began as a spectacle but evolved to what it was meant to be. At first, "everyone who came into the theater sat down and stared at me. And I felt it. Then they left... because they expected me to do some high-wire act, and that's not what it was about".

"By the third day, nobody in the room was focused on me. Not one person was looking at me and I thought, “Wow this has nothing to do with me and nothing to do with the movies".

"It was like this cool little pause in life where all of the hubbub and all of the Bzzzz of running around and the busy-ness and the phones shut down and everything got really intimate and quiet. For what reason? No one knows. We still don’t fully know. But it created something that is bigger than all of us, all of the movies and all of the crowd. It’s connection. We were all connected for that moment".

"When you’re sitting in the theater and a person leaves and the crowd cheers, or when I get up to go take a p*ss and they’re cheering, and you know that the cheer is about the person who’s next in line, they’re not cheering for themselves 40-people back, they’re cheering for the guy they know they’ve been sitting with in line for seven hours and they’re watching his face as he smiles down the stairs. That’s the art. That’s the reason we did the project".

And I walked back into the theater like, "You’re part of this club that you’ve always wanted to be a part of.... I don't have the words. My feelings, though, didn't lie to me".

Watching LaBeouf watch his own films became a cultural phenomenon, with screenshots of his reactions, memes and more being shared on social media. LaBeouf even featured on the sub-Reddit 'photoshop battles' where users fought create the best photoshop using reaction images from the broadcast.

You can read the full interview here.

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