Correction: All of the LaBeouf quotes in the journal's "exclusive interview" are taken from other, older LaBeouf interviews. (Forgive us for not having studied our LaBeouf quote books very recently.) None of them were said to Frequencies. We were fooled.
After a news-making February that involved oddball press conferences, unusual red-carpet couture, and a performance art show in Los Angeles where he held the hand of your Vulture editor and cried, Shia LaBeouf has mostly kept a low profile. No longer! The eccentric actor-artist covers the new issue of Frequencies, a biannual journal due out June 10 from publishing imprint Two Dollar Radio, and he has plenty to say about his plagiarism scandal, his art career, and his unlikely defender Jaden Smith. Be forewarned that not all of it makes sense, although a rep for the journal swears that LaBeouf (who "wore gray and was missing a tooth" during the interview), said every weird thing excerpted below. (Ed note: That is technically true — LaBeouf did say all of the things below, just in other interviews, which we have annotated below.)
Asked to describe his recent antics in one word, LaBeouf technically provided two: "Hashtag, original," he replied. That sentiment might be considered salt in the wound for artist Daniel Clowes, whose work LaBeouf famously plagiarized for his own short film, but when prompted to apologize for his actions, the Transformers actor demurred and went off on an entirely different tangent:
I would like to be George Clooney diplomatic. But I mean, I don't give a fuck. At this point, I have enough money to live 25 lifetimes. You couldn't spend the money I've accrued now.
(Ed note: That quote is from an August 2011 Details interview, which you can read here.) George Clooney is not exactly the most diplomatic person we could think of off the top of our heads, but message received: Shia LaBeouf is not a peaceful person. He reiterates that point when asked about a past bar brawl:
Dude, I was 185 and ripped. I'm a fucking human being who pays his taxes. And I don't respond in a really sweetheart way. You fight out of fucking survival. Everybody's got stories. I don't want to not have stories.
(Ed note: That quote is also from that same August 2011 Details interview, which you can read here.) And stories he's got, particularly when the conversation turns to Jaden Smith, who once offered his support to the beleaguered LaBeouf by tweeting, "I'm here if you need a fellow insane person to talk to." LaBeouf seemed to regard that short statement as something of a thrown gauntlet, and when asked by Frequencies to offer his thoughts on the younger Smith, LaBeouf replied:
He's a lunatic. He told me the craziest story at Sundance, about how he used to be a glassblower. He was glassblowing, he said, in his boxers in his garage, and one of the bubbles popped. The glass got on his dick, and it wouldn't get off, because it's like molten lava when it comes off the bubble. He said he went to the hospital and at the hospital they said, "Look, we can't remove the glass because doing so will puncture a vein and then we'll have to sever your penis." So his wife called him "glass dick."
(Ed note: That quote is from this interview in Stumped Magazine.) Many of the elements in that story may come as a surprise to Jaden Smith, who is both unmarried and fifteen years old and likely not a glassblower, but LaBeouf fears no beef, since no one can be harder on him than he is on himself. "I am trying to impress myself," LaBeouf says in the interview, assessing his recent output. "I have yet to do it."