Shia LeBouf has been making quite a number of questionable decisions in recent months, and now that we find out that he tripped acid for his role in "The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman," it seems fair to ask whether or not that drug experience has left the once straight-laced actor a little weird in the head.
LeBouf, who has grown out a scraggly, homeless-looking beard that recalls Joaquin Phoenix's odd-balled "hip-hop" persona a couple of years ago for the 2010 mockumentary "I'm Still Here," admitted during a recent interview with USA Today that he tripped on LSD as a form of method acting in order to better play his drug-taking Mob gangster character in the forthcoming Indie film.
"There's a way to do an acid trip like Harold and Kumar, and there's a way to be on acid," LaBeouf said. "What I know of acting, Sean Penn actually strapped up to that [electric] chair in 'Dead Man Walking.' These are the guys that I look up to."
So it appears Shia LeBouf, who is best known for being the face of Michael Bay's mega-popular 'Transformers' franchise, is pouring his heart and soul into his new independent film career.
These types of risks will likely make his performances more believable and enthralling, but it also raises questions about what the impacts of the decision to take hallucinogens will have on his life and personality.
Though many people take acid and experience no ill effects, there is a body of medical and psychological research that shows that some users experience serious side effects from the drug. But many experts believe that cases such as suicides by folks who believed they could fly while on the drug and triggering manic or psychotic episodes are the result of people who are already unstable accentuating their mental disorders by taking the drug.
The New York Times wrote this article about the drug in 1991, so take this with a grain of salt, but the following sentence sums up some of the concerns some medical professionals have about LSD:
"Experts warn that the strength of the drug can vary widely in its manufacture," the article said. "Sometimes, they say, taking the drug can lead to panic attacks and flashbacks of terrifying hallucinations. They say that the drug can also accentuate violent tendencies and, if taken in large doses, can bring on convulsions."
So though many would argue that dropping a hit or two of acid should have no impact on Shia LeBouf's mental and psychotic health, there is a body of evidence that speaks to the alternative conclusion.
LeBouf has been taking other unusual steps in his career of late, however, including gaining 40 pounds for a role in "Lawless," going full frontal in a recent Sigur Ros music video, and playing a part in the upcoming Lars von Trier film "Nymphomaniac," which will feature actual sex scenes between the stars.
"There's a disclaimer at the top of the script that basically says, 'We're doing it for real,'" Shia LeBouf said about the film, according to Yahoo! News. "Anything that is 'illegal' will be shot in blurred images. But other than that, everything is happening ... It's going to be a wild movie, man. It's going to be a wild movie."