Self-impressed actor and all-around douche Shia LaBeouf wants you to know he takes his acting gigs seriously. So he was all too willing to admit to MTV News at the Sundance Film Festival that in order to pull off a believable performance, he actually dropped acid, as his character does in The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman, to get a deeper grasp of the role:
Not ’cause I wanted to be on drugs — I’m not trying to mess with the set or anything like that. It’s really just fear that propels people.
The actor said he decided to do the drug after getting so-so reviews on rehearsals from co-star Evan Rachel Wood and friends. The Charlie Countryman movie is a story of a young man who travels to Romania after the death of his mother and falls for a dangerous young woman (Wood). One scene involves his character taking LSD and is said to be pretty realistic. Sounds like Shia accomplished what he set out to do.
Dropping acid isn’t the only bold move LaBeouf made to enhance his performance for the film. The opening scene shows his character with a bloodied face after a serious beating, dangling by one foot over a dam. If you haven’t guessed it by now, director Fredrik Bond said LaBeouf insisted on slamming his head into a stone wall and actually hanging over a dam.
A Romanian stunt coordinator helped him out with the scene, LaBeouf said:
The guy says to me, ‘Listen, the danger isn’t really falling into the water. You might hurt yourself, but you’ll survive that. But if you swing into (a neon light in the scene), there’s no way you’re going to survive that. So don’t swing too much.’
As for the head beating, Bond said there was a thin head padding to help with the blow:
But that only did so much. There was one take. One slam. I didn’t even watch the monitor. I just asked my (director of photography) if we got it. Shia was hurting. But he was very happy.
There you have it, folks. If nothing else intrigues you to watch this movie, maybe knowing that the scenes where the crap is beaten out of LeBeouf are actually real will. I know I want to see that.