A starring role in Michael Bay's Transformers franchise may have helped to turn Shia LaBeouf into a household name, but that hasn't stopped the actor from proclaiming the blockbuster film franchise is devoid of substance.
"My hang-up with those films was that they felt irrelevant," LaBeouf told Esquire. "They felt dated as fuck. ... You come up on these stories about Easy Rider and Raging Bull and [Robert] De Niro and [Martin] Scorsese and [Dennis] Hopper, and you find value in what they do. Meanwhile, you’re chasing energon crystals. It’s very hard to keep doing what you’re doing when you feel like it’s the antithesis of your purpose on this planet."
LaBeouf played Sam Witwicky for the first three entries of Bay's Transformers series, between 2007 and 2011, but ultimately parted ways with the franchise to pursue a more artistically fulfilling career. It was a mindset that few could comprehend, particularly after Transformers: Dark of the Moon reportedly netted LaBeouf a $15 million payday. "[I felt like I] was living in a gilded cage. No one gives a fuck about your problems. Everybody’s like, 'Hey, man, you’re riding the wave!'"
His next project, The Peanut Butter Falcon, premieres this year, reuniting LaBeouf with fellow Fury actor and Punisher star Jon Bernthal. The movie also stars Dakota Johnson, Thomas Haden Church and John Hawkes.
The Transformers franchise will also return later this year, with director Travis Knight's Bumblebee set to roll out theatrically on Dec. 21.
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