By Darren Franich
Updated June 28, 2011 at 06:50 PM EDT
Credit: Jaimie Trueblood
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You can’t blame Shia LaBeouf for wandering down some strange tangents in his recent interviews. This is the third time he’s had to do publicity for a Transformers movie, and considering that his character hasn’t noticeably evolved over three movies despite dating underwear models and visiting robot heaven, the guy must understandably want to talk about anything besides the new movie, which I believe is called Transformers: Bad Moon Rising. But in a trio of recent interviews, LaBeouf has practiced nothing less than a scorched-Earth policy, happily explaining why every movie he has made in the last half-decade has been terrible, while also effusively gabbing about all the co-stars he’s hooked up with. Here’s the essential talking points from his new interview with Details magazine:

-LaBeouf and Megan Fox hooked up while filming Transformers 1. As LaBeouf explains: “Look, you’re on the set for six months, with someone who’s rooting to be attracted to you, and you’re rooting to be attracted to them,” and therefore they had to hook up because Stanislavski told them to. Now, this hook-up appears to have come at a time when Fox was dating her now-husband Brian Austin Green. When asked if the couple was together at the time, this is LaBeouf’s actual response: “I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know. It was what it was.” (Representatives for Fox did not comment on LaBeouf’s assertions.)

LaBeouf and Isabel Lucas were “philandering around” while filming Transformers 2. This was at a time when Lucas was dating Entourage star Adrian Grenier, so now we can all start theorizing about the unique fetish that forces LaBeouf to hook up with co-stars who are in relationships with TV actors. “Neither one of us, I think, were in love,” says LaBeouf, “Just sort of experimenting or whatever.” Pause to picture LaBeouf and Lucas in a laboratory conducting elaborate scientific experiments, then putting on a matching set of top hats and monocles and philandering around Victorian England.

-LaBeouf knows exactly what went wrong with Wall Street 2. To explain why a film that could have been a darkly comic indictment of the American financial system wound up being a sappy family drama about the redemptive power of Carey Mulligan’s tears, LaBeouf explains that director Oliver Stone “was trying to play nice. But for a movie like Wall Street that had so much bite the first time around to come out without fangs and preach a message of hope wasn’t what people were looking for.”

He also knows exactly what went wrong with Transformers 2. Says the star, “None of us had any clue what we were doing.” This seems like a remarkably accurate critique, since Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen does seem to have been written by people who don’t know how to write, directed by someone who doesn’t know how to direct, performed by robots struggling to understand human emotion, and edited by an over-caffeinated chimpanzee with easy access to scissors.

LaBeouf also offers his own perspective on the never-ending battle to decide exactly who replaced Megan Fox with Rosie Huntington-Whitely, explaining that after Transformers 2, Megan Fox started to feel “like a prostitute.” Someday, someone will write an Off-Broadway play about the war to cast an attractive placeholder actress in threequel about robot cars, in which Megan Fox is a metaphorical hooker working for a metaphorical Hitler who is fired by the non-metaphorical director of Schindler’s List and then replaced by a metaphorical angel. It can’t possibly be worse than a Transformers movie.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, the LA Times ran a profile of LaBeouf in which he found a delicate way to note that his affiliation with Steven Spielberg is simultaneously the best and worst thing to happen to his career. “Steven introduced me to the world in a way. The man has been incredible to me. But the work that I’ve done with him, the character variation is not heavy. It’s sort of all in the same vein.” (He’s talking about the Transformers trilogy, Indiana Jones 4, and Eagle Eye, and it surely says something that the first Transformers is the best of that bunch.)

To finish off your LaBeouf Round-up for the day, the Transformers star talked to David Letterman last night. He genially explained that Michael Bay is “a caricature of himself,” but noted that it’s a real honor for interns to be yelled at by him, which is exactly the kind of thing someone who has never been an intern would say. But everything wasn’t rosy on the set of these Transformers movies. Here’s LaBeouf discussing his big face-off with Michael Bay, which came down to one awe-inspiring showdown over whether or not LaBeouf could play his Feist song in front of badass military dudes:

In short, LaBeouf is either charmingly honest about his shortcomings or completely incapable of adhering to even the most basic Hollywood codes of conduct. But don’t worry, he didn’t compare anyone to a fascist dictator, and he’s a dude, so he will almost certainly work in this town again.

PopWatchers, what the hell do you make of all this? Does this get you even remotely excited to see Transformers: Under a Tuscan Moon or whatever?

Follow Darren on Twitter: @EWDarrenFranich

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