As Park City, Utah plays host to the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, Hollywood’s heavy-hitters are touring the town, marketing their indie passion pieces to Tinselown critics and insiders.
One of the more talked about films, “The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman,” starring Shia LaBeouf and Evan Rachel Wood, apparently required some method acting on the part of the lead.
During a Sundance interview with MTV News, LaBeouf was asked about his reputation for having a more "instinctual, gut-level" approach to acting.
"I'm just scared, you know what I mean?" said the former Transformers star. "That's what propels things like that. Being nervous that you're not going to get it right, that it's not going to be honest. You subject yourself to things; you can't choose your thoughts, you can't choose your feelings, but you can influence them. And I try to influence myself as much as possible."
Directed by Swedish-born Fredrik Bond, the film centers around Charlie Countryman (LaBeouf), a wandering man who travels to Eastern Europe with no plans. Countryman ends up pursuing an equally lost soul named Gabi (Wood), a mysterious Romanian woman unable to shake her dark, violent past.
LaBeouf told MTV that his character in the movie drops acid (LSD), and so he eventually found himself having no choice but to do the same. While this could certainly be seen as both reckless and highly risky, LaBeouf said the trick is taking it just far enough before you go too far.
"You root for it. You don't show up [on set] completely wasted or completely tripping on acid, but you're rooting for something and you're pushing towards it. Everyone's got their own way."
The 26-year-old actor has somewhat of a reputation for living vicariously through the characters he portrays, as he reportedly got drunk on moonshine in preparation to play a professional bootlegger in John Hillcoat's "Lawless."
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, LaBeouf also revealed some production details related to his next project, Lars Von Trier's "The Nymphomaniac."
"There's a disclaimer at the top of the script that basically says, 'We’re doing it for real,'" LaBeouf told EW last summer. “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."
Audiences can look forward to seeing the edgy film star in lots more of the indie-style roles as he recently denounced big-budget studio projects for which he had been known (such as the "Transformers" series and "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull").
"There's no room for being a visionary in the studio system. It literally cannot exist," LaBeouf said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter last summer. "You give Terrence Malick a movie like 'Transformers,' and he's f**ked. There's no way for him to exist in that world."
LaBeouf also took the opportunity to plug the indie film company Voltage Pictures, which financed "Lawless."
"These dudes are a miracle. They give you the money, and they trust you -- [unlike the studios, which] give you the money, then get on a plane and come to the set and stick a finger up your ass and chase you around for five months."
LeBeouf can be seen in the upcoming Robert Redford film, “The Company You Keep,” starring Susan Sarandon and Anna Kendrick. The film is due out early April.
My name is Carey Vanderborg and I'm a journalist working in New York City. I love food, travel, craft beer, live music and writing about all of the above.