Shia LeBeouf, the most even of all the Stevens, has presented America with a moral dilemma.
As Americans, we are taught to be the best. To reach for the stars. To do a better job than anyone else, so that we may succeed, so that we may be, the greatest your-profession-here, of all TIME.
Sometimes, we are even encouraged to do that which is considered to be unethical or immoral in order to become the best.
Examples: Flirt with your boss despite not being attracted to her in hopes of obtaining a little extra edge when that promotion comes around. Throw a fellow employee under the bus for punching out early to pick up their kids when it appears that they are the preferred for the promotion, etc., etc…
In short, we are taught that in order to get what you want, sometimes you just gotta be a bit of an asshole.
Shia LeBeouf, an acting “transformer” in his own right, wants to be the best actor he can possibly be for his new movie, Nymphomaniac. In this movie, you guessed it, people are going to engage in the carnal tornado of love many a time on the big screen.
And apparently, according the director of said movie, Lars von Trier, they’re going to be “doing it for real.”
No, you have not misunderstood Mr. von Trier’s statement of artistry.
Our little Louis Stevens is going to be copulating, with a fellow actress, in front of a camera, crew, and director, all for the sake of realism in a movie. We will not actually see the sex happening, but you know, making actors “do it for real” cements the fact that these two people who are getting all up in each other’s business are in fact having sex, and aren’t just really bad at dancing. Nude. Whilst groaning sounds of passion.
Thank goodness, because I get the two confused all the time. You wouldn’t believe how many awkward situations that has gotten me into! Now I can’t be within 200 feet of most nightclubs in Pittsburgh. However, I have been given offers to dance professionally at other fine establishments, exotic ones too, where only gentlemen go! So really, it hasn’t worked too terribly in my favor.
By the by, if you are an actor, and you live what you are doing on screen, i.e., being drunk when your character is drunk, being a compulsive eater while your character is a compulsive eater, and so on, then you are doing what is called “method acting.”
This is what the greats of the acting world do. They lose and gain weight like fiends, adopt accents for months at a time, they’ll even live with the person who they are playing husband or wife, too…Also, they’ll bang each other on camera.
In acting circles, this seen as the ultimate symbol of dedication to your craft. You are willing to go the extra mile to be as authentic as your character as possible. And by doing so, you can achieve greatness.
And perhaps, more importantly, best-ness.
“But Mia!” I hear you cry. “He has a lady friend! This isn’t about being the best, it’s about being moral. It completely crosses the line and puts into question his character. By him having sexual relations with another, he is in reality cheating on his love! Yes, sometimes you have to be a jerk to get what you want, but this is wrong! What will Indiana Jones think of his son behaving this way?!”
While most would say in a regular work environment, such as in the business world, banging your way to the top would be seen as completely depraved/fodder for a Lifetime movie, (they are usually the same thing) some would say that since this is acting, and therefore ART. Thus, what he is doing is exempt from being seen as immoral.
But, if inexperienced actors have sex on camera, it’s considered to be “porn;” when an A-list celebrity does it, it is ART (capital letters necessary). He and the actress’ carnal scenes are necessary for the “artistic integrity” of the movie.
After all, if he’s “method acting” he’s living the life…of his character. So it’s not really he who is having sexual relations with a female, but rather his character who happens to be PLAYED by Mr. La-BOOF. Therefore, he’s not really cheating on anyone. Rather, he is doing the best possible job that he can possibly do. And oh, he’ll be doing it, for real!
Confused? I am too. But that’s the argument that some would make when discussing the immorality of sexing your way to the top of the acting totem pole, literally.
But here lies the question, if you were Mr. La-BOOF’s main squeeze, would you see it as “art” or as your boyfriend cheating on you in public, whilst making evidence of him doing so, evidence that the world can see for a price of eight dollars at your local movie theatre?!
Mark me down for CHEATING.
And in my opinion, if you’ve got to literally have sex for people to know that you are playing a person having sex, you might want to check yourself.
So, if my character has been knocked unconscious in a scene, am I supposed to bludgeon myself with a skillet until I see Jesus? You know, so it will seem as “realistic” as possible while maintaining my “artistic integrity” as an actor?
There’s a reason they’re called actors and not “doers.” If you’re an actor who can’t pretend to be doing something, then uh, me thinks you aren’t an actor. Also, banging your way to be the best actor you can be is just as cheap as doing so to be the best in any other profession. And just as seedy.
Now, I’m no prude. I’ve got no problem with the act of fornication; do it, be safe, mazel tov, whatever—but I do have a problem with people exploiting a natural act for, let’s say, getting ahead in life, or, you know, ticket sales. (Think about it, would this movie be getting any press if the actors/directors went out of their way to mention how people were going to be actually having sex in it? Doubtful.)
All I’ve got to say is this; if you can’t get there without having sex with someone or doing something shady—maybe you don’t deserve whatever it is you’re trying to get in the first place. Because when you exploit others, or even yourself, you’re just setting yourself up for something that you might not have been ready for otherwise…And that can often lead to failure.
And no one will help you pick up the pieces if you’ve burned/banged all your bridges.
twoday magazine wants to know: Is La-BOOF suffering for his art, or is this just an excuse to get laid? Share with us your thoughts on our Facebook page.
Don’t forget to check out @miasminirants on Twitter. Trust us, she’s full of hilarious little gems!
Like this article by Mia Bencivenga exclusively for twodaymag? Check out other irreverent and thought-provoking pieces by our youngest writer: