Ok so I have got to admit it! I have a ‘man crush’! It’s not clever and I’m not proud of it but it has happened. So not content to watch greats like Daniel Day-Lewis or Robert Downy Jnr from afar I have now watched a performance that confirms this certain actor in my “Hall of Commitment and Truth”. Who is it I hear you cry… ok…. wait for it…Shia Lebeouf! Now before you flick to a different blogger hear me out! Granted he has been party to a number of pulp franchises bandying his own style of ‘cheeky chappy’ smiles and witticisms AND he has walked down the red carpet with a bag on his head AND he has been accused for allegedly plagiarising someone else’s work and passing it off as his own creation BUT it is impossible to watch his latest performance without being impressed. His commitment to the role was unparalleled and his truth was mesmerizing. He didn’t utter a single word but his performance was fantastic. What am I talking about? I am referring to his performance in the music video to Sia’s song “Elastic Heart”. The anguish, joy, and desolation that he conveys throughout the story are heart rendering and it is great to watch. The key thing for me is the total commitment he has to his performance. I also have to mention his cameo in the Rob Cantor’s video, again you can just feel his commitment to the role he is playing.
It is easy for the media to grab hold of a story and keep at it like a dog with a bone and Shia’s apparent ‘meltdowns’ do seem to add fuel to the feeding frenzy, but it is really important to ignore all the hype and let his performing inform you. Commitment to the role is a vital aspect of any performer and Shia has demonstrated that he certainly has that! So now my guilty secret is out! As a director, to work with someone like Shia would be a dream, I can imagine that he brings a lot to the table! Be that kind of performer, always bring something to the role and leave the people you work with richer for the experience.
James Bowden is the creator of ‘The Process’ a unique system to create truthful performances and co-founder/principal of The Dorset School of Acting which offers full time actor training courses. Check them out at www.dorsetschoolofacting.co.uk