Smooth are the paths of few child stars, but Shia LaBeouf’s was always a particularly. . . special one. From his unexpected appearance in Rob Cantor’s ode to the Hollywood superstar to his presumably well-intentioned motivational speech, LaBeouf has lived his life as one long performance art piece, and if you say you’re not at least tangentially fascinated by him, you’re lying.
Which is what makes his most recent headline-worthy speech so unexpected. As public sentiment toward police officers becomes increasingly divided (with politicians tossing fuel on the fire), LaBeouf was last person I expected to see make a statement expressing any sort of gratitude or support for law enforcement. So, of course he did.
“I want to thank the police officer who arrested me in Georgia, for changing my life,” LaBeouf said, according to USA Today. Some in the crowd apparently laughed at LaBeouf’s remarks, seemingly not knowing if the “Transformers” star was kidding.
LaBeouf was arrested in Savannah for public drunkenness, disorderly conduct, and obstruction when he became unruly and profane after being refused a cigarette from some strangers. His sentence was to pay a fine and perform 100 hours of community service, plus enroll in anger management and complete a drug and alcohol evaluation.
Meanwhile, I have never regretted more my decision to leave art school in Savannah, just in case I ran into Shia LaBeouf doing community service.
It seems that the ensuing therapy and rehab has done LaBeouf well: His comments were made in an acceptance speech during the Hollywood Film Awards, at which Shia won for the autobiographical screenplay “Honey Boy” he wrote while at rehab.
I think it’s inspiring and, frankly, refreshing to see someone take an otherwise humiliating and rock bottom-y run in with police and create good art with it. To improve themselves with it. LaBeouf’s comments are hardly a manifesto read atop an overturned police car, but somehow, his modest and unostentatious affirmation of a cop doing his job is exactly what we need to hear. I know there’s a trillion nuances to LaBeouf’s situation compared with others, but it comes down to a police officer doing his job according to the law and, in doing so, helping someone improve their life. That’s what they’re there for. And I’m glad Shia LaBeouf recognized as much and appreciated it.
Also, seriously, if you haven’t seen Rob Cantor’s Shia LaBeouf Live, now is the time.