Last year, I documented a few of the numerous things that the internet hates about Shia LaBeouf. Like how he out assholed Alec Baldwin and would bash a movie studio and then take a job with said movie studio. It wasn’t really fair to only concentrate on the negatives of LaBeouf without also looking at the many great things he’s given us over the years. “Oh cool, so this will be an article about his fine acting performances, right?” Ha, of course not, silly.
To celebrate Shia LaBeouf’s birthday, I’ve compiled a recap of those times that he mixed crazy and awesome together and delivered us the kind of publicity that only a former child actor can channel.
Shia LaBeouf reminds the world he hates Frankie Muniz.
The world loves a good celebrity beef. While Shia and Frankie may not exactly be on the beef level of Tupac vs. Biggie, the former child star factor makes it hilariously enjoyable. In 2010, LaBeouf did an interview where he was asked about his six No. 1 movies, and that was all the set-up he needed to throw a punch at Frankie Muniz.
“While that’s flattering as hell, you could have put Frankie Muniz into any of the movies I’ve been in, and it would’ve still been No.1.”
Damn, Muniz got dissed! The feud reportedly dated back to 2003 with LaBeouf saying he didn’t like going to parties much and putting himself in “Frankie Muniz-type zones.” If a Frankie Muniz-type zone was good enough for Bryan Cranston, then it’s good enough for you, Shia.
Shia announces he’s retiring from public life.
LaBeouf really knows how to add some pop to a boring Tuesday: He took it upon himself to let the world know he was preparing to exit celebrity life and opt for being a regular old Walmart-shopping nobody. The world mourned — mocked, actually — his retirement, but he offered his fans some inspiring words to hold onto as they bawled their eyes out while watching Even Stevens reruns.
“Every time you pick up a book, enjoy a painting, or take in a film, know that I created that because I love you and want you to be happy.”
Deep. The whole retirement thing lasted about four months, and then we were treated to the “Shia Out of Retirement and Still Crazy World Tour,” but not before this brilliant red carpet appearance…
Still-famous Shia wears a bag on his head to let people know he’s not famous.
He was no longer famous when the Germany premier of Nymphomaniac rolled around, but LaBeouf was still legally required to attend, even as a former-famous person. The solution to this conundrum: Wear a bag on his head declaring that he was no longer famous. The verdict: Brilliant!
The whole thing was a publicity stunt before returning to the public eye, but it was the kind of trolling that probably had Joaquin Phoenix cursing himself for not thinking of it first when he gave up acting. Well done, Shia.
The “Shia LaBeouf is a Cannibal” musical performance.
LaBeouf may not have been directly involved in this one, but it would be a slight against the internet gods not to include it. In case you forgot, web magician Rob Cantor first received the internet’s praises — and then vengeance — when he rolled out his viral video “29 Celebrity Impressions, 1 Original Song” before he admitted it was rigged. All was forgiven, though, when Cantor graced us with a musical tribute put on by a gay men’s choir honoring his meme “Actual Cannibal Shia LaBeouf.”
Shia gives a one-hour silent interview, because… crazy?
LaBeouf had a pretty incredible 2014, receiving praise from critics for his performances in Fury and Nymphomaniac, but perhaps more importantly, he gave us spectacles like the bag stunt mentioned above. Rather than end the year with a drunken brawl, Shia decided to test the very limits of boredom and conducted a one-hour silent interview with an editor from Dazed magazine. Things get really exciting around the 33-minute mark when Shia scratches his arm and then crosses his legs. Drama, right?
Not surprisingly, LaBeouf’s most recent internet stunt takes No. 1 spot on this list with a viral wave that’s still going. The Cannibal Shia meme was just a practice round for the meme juggernaut that is his “Just Do It!” motivational green screen speech. The speech that was taped by students of Central Saint Martins BA Fine Arts program spawned its own subreddit and, as we pointed out earlier, has found LaBeouf in everything from Star Wars to taunting Brad Pitt in Se7en.
Who knows what bizarre stunts LaBeouf will bless the internet with throughout the rest of 2015. Maybe he’ll lay low, or maybe he’s in a bar bathroom at this very moment having a conversation with himself in the mirror about what to do next. Either way, it’s been a hell of a ride so far.