Transformers 2: Interview mit Shia LaBeouf (engl.)

04.06.2009

QUESTION: How is it to be back on the set of Transformers after the fabulous success of the first film?
SHIA LABEOUF: It’s fun for us. It’s like a five month Prom Night. We are all very excited that people are excited. For me it is the biggest success that I have ever experienced and I am a very fortunate and blessed human being to be here and to see the Pyramids. It is awesome. We are all very happy. It is the most physically taxing thing that I have ever done in my life but we are all happy to have jobs, especially with the economy and where the business is at. It is a blessing.

QUESTION: How did your life change after the success of Transformers?
SHIA LABEOUF: If I had more recreation time I would be able to step back and reflect on how life has changed. But it has been like a constant…boom, boom, boom, boom, boom! So I have not really had the reflection moment so I don’t think that it has not really changed that much. Mike still screams at me, like he did in the first one.

QUESTION: What has happened with your character?
SHIA LABEOUF: Sam has saved the world and once you have done that, you become very famous very quickly. But Sam never wanted to be that guy; he was sort of pushed into a situation. He was this neurotic kid who was forced into it because of his lineage. Now he is trying to live a normal life and go to school and he is maintaining a long distance relationship with the woman he loves and he is trying to maintain a friendship with something that is not human. So he is dealing with all those things and trying to maintain some semblance of normality and sanity in an insane situation. Then he gets called on once again. He starts getting visions and he is losing all thread and fibre of sanity, he is losing his mind completely and he is on the run. That is sort of where he starts.

QUESTION: So Mikaela is back at home while Sam is at college?
SHIA LABEOUF: Yeah, she is running a bike shop with her father and Sam is off at school.

QUESTION: Are you looking forward to running up and down the Pyramids?
SHIA LABEOUF: I can’t wait, to even be here is great. I think John [Turturro] is going to be the first actor to ever be filmed ON a Pyramid. No actor has ever been filmed on these things, so it is cool for John and it is cool for us to be around him.

QUESTION: What is it like making a movie like this?
SHIA LABEOUF: This is Transformers, it is cartoonish reality. It is big explosions, beautiful women, fast cars and insanity. We never try to be anything else and it is not like our audience ever wants it to be anything else. For those who did want more, we are trying to work on that as well. It is not just bigger, faster and stronger, it is also more intelligent and there is more humour in it. A lot of the humour that people enjoyed in the first one, we have extenuated that and added more.

QUESTION: How hard is it to have a conversation with the cars and pretend they are responding to you?
SHIA LABEOUF: I could say that it is so difficult and that you have got to be such a good actor to do it. The reality is that you have got to be a kid to do this. Even John Turturro is a child still. You just imagine something being there. You are just talking to yourself. The fun part – that is different from the first film – is that there is a lot more physical inter-action with the robots. There are literally facial imitations and things start to move. They put wires in your face and when a robot grabs your face you see it. That is a lot of fun as an actor. We did not have that in the first one but we have the technology to be where we are now. It has been a lot of fun to play with.

QUESTION: What sort of stunts are you doing?
SHIA LABEOUF: Everything! Two weeks ago we filmed the biggest explosion ever put on film with actors in it.

QUESTION: After your hand injury weren’t you afraid you might get hurt?
SHIA LABEOUF: I was back two weeks after I broke my hand. Two days ago I got stitches out of my eyebrow. You keep going, it’s kind of fun. Like a rock star.

QUESTION: What is it like to be in the big explosion scene?
SHIA LABEOUF: All the hair on the back of my neck was singed off. It was 600 gallons of gasoline exploding. It was filmed in New Mexico and I was only a short distance from the bomb. Phase one of the bomb was 200 yards away, and on Phase One I was running because Phase Two of the four Phase bomb goes off seconds later. Then Phase Three, the bomb I was standing next to, goes off seconds later. It takes five seconds for the city to explode and the bomb you were standing next to blew that entire town up. If the guy on the bomb trigger messes up, I’m dead. So that is exhilarating! I love the smell of napalm in the morning. (LAUGHS)

QUESTION: You must be like an Olympic sprinter to survive the bomb blast?
SHIA LABEOUF: Fear makes a person real fast! I m not the fastest dude in the world but I am the fastest guy on the set, for sure. Ramon and I have had races in the desert. Ramon is an athlete. Before he was an actor he was going to be a college basketball player. We have fun racing.

QUESTION: When you were doing the bomb scene did you think that you might be too close to it?
SHIA LABEOUF: Yeah you are thinking that all the time, and the special effects guys think it all the time. Mike Bay is the one who goes…No, you’re ok! And Mike is near it, he is manning cameras. I have never seen a director get as close as Mike will.

QUESTION: When you were making the first movie did you expect to be here three years later?
SHIA LABEOUF: We knew we would make another one and we knew how cool the first one was, we got to watch footage all the time. But we did not think we would be here in Cairo. Mike had an idea of going to one of the wonders of the world. Plus in the interim I was not really thinking about Transformers. I was on the Indy set, standing next to Harrison Ford so where we would next be shooting Transformers was last on my thoughts.

QUESTION: You had an unconventional upbringing?
SHIA LABEOUF: I do not know anything else. I think I grew up like a normal kid. I just did not go to school like a regular kid and I had a job and supported my parents since I was 12. I am so proud of that. I am really proud of my upbringing and I love my folks. I am a happy guy.

QUESTION: You had planned to go to college?
SHIA LBEOUF: I was going to but Steven [Spielberg] decided otherwise. He wanted to make some more movies. So I wasn’t going to say…No Steven I am not going to make movies with you, I am going to study movies in the classroom and read biographies about you.

QUESTION: Do you have any leisure time?
SHIA LABEOUF: Yeah. I like to go skeet shooting and I like dirt bikes and motorcycles. Like a normal guy I like watching TV. But I have no time to do that. But I am 22 and I am supposed to be a workhorse right now. I don’t want to be 40 and working at this pace. Harrison [Ford] has taught me a lot. You are supposed to work when you get work, especially now where we are at in the business. There are a lot of friends of mine who are not working and who are not enjoying it. I want leisure time until I have a month off, then I am sick of being off. I am happy that I am working as much as I am. I will probably take a break after this. I would not be doing it if I did not like it; nobody is forcing me to be here. This age – from 18 to 25 – is when the transition happens to me on life, so it will also happen to me on screen. I am also searching for roles that are more mature.

QUESTION: Why was Transformers such a smash hit?
SHIA LABEOUF: Because it is bad-ass, that’s why!



 


 
 

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