Coming on board a film is a lot like joining a family, and it’s only natural that the people you’re going to work with want to know a little bit you. So sure, you’re going to need to send measurements to the costume department while also letting the team know what kind of donuts you want on the catering table in the morning. But we’d reckon few actors outside of the porn industry got the kind of request that Shia LaBeouf did when he signed up for “Nymphomaniac.”
Following a chat with Charlotte Gainsbourg last week, Zentropa Productions has released their latest promo interview, this time with LaBeouf. And the 8-minute conversation certainly isn’t lacking in highlights, in particular when it comes to the actor’s revelation about one of his first assignments for the movie. “The first info we got — and I’ll never forget this because my entire team reacted with such a fear — the first request on the production end, not from Lars, was pictures of my penis.” And needless to say, LaBeouf sent them over.
The request for dick pics was certainly an indication of the adventure to come in making the film, and LaBeouf admits that going in, he didn’t have it all sorted out. “[Lars] doesn’t write in English, it’s gotta be translated. And so there’s things that get lost in translation, jokes that didn’t make sense to me when I read them, where on the day, situationally, it all works,” he explained. “I don’t think I understood all of it. I had no idea about the numbers, numerology, the golden angles, and all this shit, I had no idea. But a lot of it struck me. Now having just watched the movie, all of it clicks, hard. At the time none of it made sense, but I trusted Lars implicitly because his worst shit is better than my best dreams of my best shit.”
So to help Lars realize his best vision for “Nymphomaniac,” LaBeouf eyed another performance when it came to his role of Jerome. “The way into the character is, you ask yourself, what about you is pugnacious, what about you is vain, and you just turn it all up, you just amplify all of it,” he said. “So I became quite physical, it became like ‘American Psycho.’ It became that without the killing. A lot of tip to Christian Bale in that movie because a lot of Jerome in my mind was that same kind of neurosis and self-centeredness…”
So, at the end of the day, what was LaBeouf think of Lars von Trier? “He’s our Tarkovsky…” Enough said.
“Nymphomaniac: Part One” opens in theaters on March 21, 2014, and will be available On Demand starting March 6, 2014. “Nymphomaniac: Part Two” will open in theaters on April 18, 2014 and will be available On Demand as of April 3, 2014. Watch the full interview below.