In anticipation of his new movie, “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen,” Shia LaBeouf held a conference call with college newspapers from around the country. The Lantern listened in.
Q: How is this second movie going to top off the first “Transformers?”
A: It’s f—ing bigger, stronger, faster, better – it has to be. You got to realize, you know, this movie is being made by a lot of dudes who have a lot of pride. There’s no way that we’re going to promise you something and then have it be a piece of s–t. It would just be a real problem for everybody’s psyche.
I think that definitely the easiest way that I could say that it’s going to be a better film is, it’s definitely the most explosive thing that you can possibly buy tickets to this year. We broke like four or five Guinness World Records making it.
This guy named John Frazier is like the oldest practical effects guy in the business. He was the dude that used to hang out underneath the wheel of fortune and bankrupt people with a stick. He’s been in it that long. And so he rigged an explosion for seven months, which is basically a 1,000 gallon gasoline bomb. They were rigging the bomb for longer than we took to make the entire film. And that bomb wound up being the biggest bomb ever filmed with actors in it, in the history of cinema.
The stunts and everything are just on a whole other level. But there’s humor – there’s a lot more humor and there’s great additions in terms of character and cast and you see more robots. So it’s a win for everyone I think.
Q: How does your character change? How does he evolve from the first movie?
A: Well, Sam saved the world the first time, right? So just imagine Brad Pitt going to Trader Joe’s to go get a granola bar. If you save the world you have a real problem trying to buy a granola bar, you know? So, like, anywhere you go, you’re the guy who saved the world. And you’re trying to go to college and have like a normal life. And as you know college is a humongous, humongous deal for kids who didn’t enjoy their life in high school because it’s a chance to start over. And Sam was this nebbishy, neurotic, dorky kid in high school who fell into the most ridiculous situation.
The movie starts two years later from where the last one left off. He’s on his way to school to start a new life, to get away from his parents, to get as far away from his parents as he can because he’s stifled and feels like most kids do who have extremely protective parents. He’s sheltered. And on top of that he’s got Bumblebee living in his garage, who is his guardian. And he’s just sick of having guardians. He’s trying to create his own world and create his own personality free from other people’s input. And he goes off to college and when he gets to college he starts having problems, meaning he starts having these spastic fits of information where like his great, great grandfather, Archibald Witwicky, starts having these visions. These things just start popping up into his head. And he’s seeing symbols and comes to find out the symbols are a map which lead to Decepticons, or the Autobots to the Energon source that is still being held here on Earth.
Decepticons and Autobots need Energon to create armies, to revive fallen comrades, to create new worlds, to create armies – to do everything. It’s their main resource. And the little bit that’s left here, the only way to find it is through this map and the only way to use the map is through my mind. And so they stop my little stint at college to handle business.
Q: Can you relate to the theme of being in college and experiencing that change?
A: I wanted to go to college. I wanted to go to college so bad and I was going to go. I was set to go. I had my backpack picked out, all my cool little pump-up pencils and stuff, I was ready. And at the last minute a guy named Steven Spielberg called up and had a plan for other things. And I wasn’t going to be like, ‘Well listen Steven, you’ve got great ideas and all, but I don’t think so, Boss, I’m headed to school.’ So I didn’t do that because I’m not insane. I decided to listen to Steven Spielberg as opposed to listening to myself.
But still, I mean, even though I’ve done these movies and I’m very fortunate and blessed to have done them, I always feel lesser than, I always feel like intellectually – I just feel like a – I always feel like anytime I’m around anybody who’s gone to school they have a superiority you know about them. It’s just – I don’t know. It’s just one of those insecurities I’ll deal with for the rest of my life unless I go to school.
But even then it’s like – I mean, I don’t want to go do school, like, you know, here’s this movie star. Of course he got into this school type of stuff because that’d just be lame, so, trying to wrap my head around how to do school – it’s rough. But I do – I am extremely envious.