For three straight days last week, Shia LaBeouf sat in a small theater at New York’s Angelika Film Center and watched each of his films in reverse chronological order for a project titled #ALLMYMOVIES. And although the actor remained mostly mute throughout the entire thing — which was open to the public for free — he opened up about the experience in an interview alongside collaborators Luke Turner and Nastja Säde Rönkko for his first post-#ALLMYMOVIES chat.
In the interview, LaBeouf discussed his initial worries that fellow audience members would throw popcorn at him or “light [his] hair on fire,” fears stemming from the deeper panic of people hating him. “All I want to do is be liked,” he said. ” … You just don’t want anyone to hate you. I walked out loving myself. Not in some grandiose, you’re f—ing awesome way, but in like, you’re a part of a community. You’re part of this human thing. You’re in this human thing.”
LaBeouf described this feeling of community in relation to the Even Stevens Movie, a screening he giddily smiled through. “It wasn’t just me smilling like that,” he said. “If you look at the freeze frames, everyone is smiling like, wow, I remember Beans. I remember that stupid-ass song. We were all looking at our yearbooks together and we’re all in the yearbook.”
Not all his films were as enthusiastically received, though: “When the movies started getting sh– and they knew that I felt it too, it was the shared secret that we all had… not just because I’m in it… I’m in the same boat as you, I’m a viewer in this and this is hard for me to watch too,” he said. “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.”
LaBeouf did indeed go take a nap on the floor of the theater during one film, and returned to his seat for Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen which he did not seem to enjoy — in fact, he fell asleep once again for that one. “Transformers 2, they could feel when I sunk in my seat,” he said. “That’s not a performative thing. That’s me going through some kind of crisis.”
Still, LaBeouf said the ultimate experience was a positive one. “And what happened in that room for those couple of days was we all shared something, we knew it to be true, we didn’t need to explain it to one another, and that made it awesome,” he said.