James Franco and Jaden Smith are here for you, Shia LaBeouf
February 20th, 2014
04:37 PM ET

James Franco and Jaden Smith are here for you, Shia LaBeouf

Shia LaBeouf's regrets have fallen on friendly ears.

As the actor's spiral of strange behavior tapers off - at least for now - two of his fellow actors have publicly come forward to offer him support.

In an opinion piece published by the New York Times, James Franco - himself a star who's had a fair share of awkward moments with the media - discusses at length the reasons why a performer like LaBeouf would feel compelled to do things like wear a paper bag over his head.

"Though the wisdom of some of his actions may seem questionable," Franco begins, "as an actor and artist I’m inclined to take an empathetic view of his conduct."

To Franco, LaBeouf's actions could very well be the sign of something more worrisome, like a nervous breakdown, but they could also be the performance art of a frustrated guy who feels he's lost control over his identity.

"Any artist, regardless of his field, can experience distance between his true self and his public persona. But because film actors typically experience fame in greater measure, our personas can feel at the mercy of forces far beyond our control," Franco explains. "Our rebellion against the hand that feeds us can instigate a frenzy of commentary that sets in motion a feedback loop: acting out, followed by negative publicity, followed by acting out in response to that publicity, followed by more publicity, and so on."

LaBeouf, now 27, "has been acting since he was a child, and often an actor’s need to tear down the public creation that constrains him occurs during the transition from young man to adult," Franco observes. "I think Mr. LaBeouf’s project, if it is a project, is a worthy one. I just hope that he is careful not to use up all the good will he has gained as an actor in order to show us that he is an artist."

Even if he does, it sounds like Will Smith's son Jaden is willing to relieve some of LaBeouf's burden.

"I Waited In Line Today On Beverly Blvd To See @thecampaignbook I Never Got See Him But I Had A Very Important Message To Deliver," Jaden tweeted on Monday, a day after LaBeouf's "#IAmSorry" art installation in Los Angeles came to an end. (@thecampaignbook, by the way, is LaBeouf's Twitter account.)

"It Was A Message That Only Could Be Understood Artist To Artist," Jaden continued. "@thecampaignbook I'm Here For You I Believe In What Your Doing. ... I'm Here If You Need A Fellow Insane Person To Talk To. But I'm Seriously Here Not Like One Of Those I'm Here For You's That Everybody Says."


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