Yeah, he's weird, has a mental illness and prior addiction issues - so what?
Most creative geniuses do, most of Hollywood does, he just doesn't hide it, like most Hollywood sociopaths do, he's got a lot of soul (usually the ones that still do have a soul are the ones that break the hardest in Hollywood).
So glad to see him there :)
Note how he knows his place and doesn't speak too much unless asked a direct question, much like Adam Driver doesn't - they're both listening and learning from the masters ;)
The Brooklyn boys, Robert DeNiro and Adam Sandler on one side, the Midwestern boy, Adam Driver on the same side but at a slight distance, West Coast Tom Hanks capped the table's other end, and Jamie Foxx (from the South) sat with Shia on the other side of the table. Jamie Foxx had clearly made a point to sit next to and encourage Shia (West Coast, but father is Louisiana Cajun), which I thought was awesome :)
I note that at first, Tom Hanks, though reportedly very nice to everyone, still looks at Shia very pensively, sort of like examining a bug under glass lol - but quickly warms up to him.
Robert Deniro looks skeptically at everyone, because it's Robert DeNiro, but I noted he warmed up the most to Jamie and Shia more than the others (though Adam Sandler tried hard) ;)
Also interesting was after Shia Lebeouf made it clear Robert DeNiro was his hero and why (see below), Robert DeNiro was asked by the interviewer if anyone still intimidates him, and Bob said something akin to the older you get, the less intimidated you feel by anyone, including anyone in politics, but right now, it's important that we stand up for what we believe in (slightly shooting a look to Adam Sandler).
Then the interviewer picked up on the cue and turned and asked a pointed question to Adam Sandler.
The interviewer basically said he knew everyone at the table was on the same page about who was in the White House (meaning they all disliked Trump), right now, but pointedly asked Adam - the only remaining Republican at the table (though Adam Driver was a marine vet and former conservative) specifically his thoughts.
Adam Sandler squirmed and dodged the question, giving the "Jerry Seinfeld" pat answer, stumbling through it, "Politics aren't my forte, I'm not knowledgeable enough."
Jamie Foxx took him to task lol.
Jamie reminded him that this time, it's not "just politics" - there was more at stake than that, there are issues of humanity at stake, and if nothing else, it's getting to the point where you can't even let your children watch the behavior coming out of the man in the White House.
*crickets from Adam Sandler*
Don't get me wrong, I love Adam Sandler AND Jerry Seinfeld - but - I am so tired of that safe answer - especially from comedians - who otherwise are brave and proud of their ability to push the boundaries of acceptable?
Actually, tack on actors, musicians, and writers too. They're all, "Ooh, look at me, I'm a rebel, the wild child, breaking all the cultural rules of comedy, music, language use, and fashion, nothing should be sacred or taboo - except politics, or course - hell no, I won't touch that or I might lose fans."
Quite frankly, that answer from anyone is beginning to annoy me, it wreaks of privilege, like, "Oh, it doesn't enter my safe, white-privilege, fame bubble; in fact, I don't even notice unless it's affects my taxes."
Because you know who it is that usually says things like the above?
(Hint: Not Trumpers, they're as loud about Trump as liberals, for the other side.)
It's usually (but not always) former or current Republicans, who can't stand Trump either and know he's way wrong, but don't have the cojones to say so publicly because they're chicken sh*t - too afraid to piss off their Trump-supporting Republican friends.
Regardless, so glad to see Shia where he belongs - and interestingly, how he talks about the reason Robert DeNiro is his acting hero is because even though he wasn't sure if he was religious, he was certain he was spiritual, there was a spiritual aspect to his work, he could see his soul, and that's what he aspired to.
Note what I said about Shia himself in this post (link also at the top ;)
Additionally, Shia is half-Jewish by birth, but his father was evangelical Christian, so he received both a Bar Mitzvah and a baptism, and Shia describes himself as both Jewish and Christian, faith being very important to him, crediting faith as being what's saved him.
This is interesting, because his first name, Shia, is derived from "Szaja," the Polish version of the Hebrew word "Yeshayahu" for Isaiah, which means "God is salvation." :)
Interesting enough, both signed to star in a movie together, "After Exile," which begins filming soon :)
That is exactly what Shia needed - it's what all truly talented child actors need - someone with indisputable star power like Robert DeNiro to be willing to work with him, take him under his wing and mentor and guide him on not only acting, but how to handle all the BS that comes with fame - nobody will say sh*t to, or about, Shia now lol.
I was actually hoping Tarentino would step up, he initially built a reputation by hiring slightly off-kilter actors - i.e., the entire cast of Reservoir Dogs and True Romance?
As an aside, I just watched True Romance again, this weekend, my husband inexplicably had never seen it. I'd forgotten how good that film really is. Just be forewarned, it's very Tarantino (meaning violent at times).
For those who don't know, Tarantino wrote it/helped cast True Romance, but Tony Scott directed it. It was released in 1993, one year before Tarantino hit the big time with Pulp Fiction ...
Christian Slater, Gary Oldman, Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Patricia Arquette, Tom Sizemore, Chris Penn, James Gandolfini, Brad Pitt before he became a household name.
I mean, that film's cast was like a Who's Who of actors who labeled has-beens, difficult, unstable, flaky, crazy, and/or drug-addled, or they were just new/unknowns - that works for gritty movies like Tarantino's stuff, the end result is phenomenal, because these people know pain, fear, anger, or conversely, how to be calm in unusual situations that would freak other people out lol.
However, since then, Tarantino has begun taking safe bets with box-office big leaguers, I guess :/
Even better to to take Shia on than Tarantino :)
Just ... whatever you do, Shia?
Don't. Piss. Off. DeNiro lol
Watch, listen, and learn from the master :)
You can still say what you think to some degree, but someday, you'll be able to say exactly what you think, too, just like DeNiro does now, but remember, he had to earn that privilege through his work first and you'll need to do the same ;)