Shia Labeouf found God on the set of new war movie Fury and credits co-star Brad Pitt and director David Ayer with helping him achieve a new level of spirituality.
The actor is trying to get his life back on track following a series of bizarre incidents and alcohol-fuelled bar fights and legal issues, and he insists his new-found love of religion will help him get past his troubles. In a new Interview magazine expose, the Transformers star calls himself a "Christian man", insisting he's serious about being a man of God.
He says, "Not in a f**king bulls**t way, in a very real way. I could have just said the prayers that were on the page. But it was a real thing that really saved me. And you can't identify (it) unless you're really going through it. It's a full-blown exchange of heart, a surrender of control. And while there's beauty to that, acting is all about control. So that was a wild thing to navigate. "I had good people around me (on the set) who helped me. Brad was really instrumental in guiding my head through this. Brad comes from a hyper-religious, very deeply Christian, Bible Belt life, and he rejected it and moved toward an unnamed spirituality. He looked at religion like the people's opium, almost like a Marxist view on religion. "Whereas David is a full subscriber to Christianity. But these two diametrically opposed positions both lead to the same spot, and I really looked up to both men. It was nice to have conversations with Brad about the family he came from and what he was using to get through the day."
Brad Pitt and Shia LaBeouf attended a special screening of their new war movie Fury at a U.S. Army base in Georgia this week (ends19Oct14).
The Hollywood actors were joined by director David Ayer and their co-stars Michael Pena and Logan Lerman for a showing of the World War II film for around 1,000 soldiers and civilian workers at Fort Benning in Columbus on Thursday (16Oct14). Pitt, who plays the leader of a tank crew in Fury, spent time with the troops, met their families, posed for photographs and even climbed inside a tank to pose with a rapid fire machine gun. He was clearly moved by the day, telling Ledger-enquirer.com:
"When we first started filming, we talked about how great this would be if we could do this and bring it back to the guys (the troops). We'd already been through months of training by some of the military's best and we'd have many conversations with the vets (veterans) who were there, and we grew a much deeper understanding of what these men and women endure and give of themselves to keep us in our comfy homes and driving our cars." LaBeouf also mingled with the soldiers and their loved ones during the day and added of the army base visit, adding, "This means more to me than anything. Because these people give everything for the country, for our freedoms. Politics aside, you ask any of these soldiers about politics. They're not going to answer you. This is a real job. I'm all about commitment. I like people who commit to things. This is the most commitment you'll see out of any human being."
Movie star Michael Pena is hoping his new movie Fury will help film fans better understand the Latino effort in World War Two because he is shocked and appalled by the fact that Mexican and Puerto Rican soldiers have become the forgotten heroes of the conflict. The American Hustle star attempted to research the role Latinos played in World War Two after landing the role of Trini 'Gordo' Garcia in the Brad Pitt film - and was stunned to realise there's so little written about the Hispanic heroes.
He tells WENN, "It was harder than I thought it would be. There were not a lot of newspaper clippings or anything in Wikipedia, which was shocking because there were, like, half a million Latinos that actually fought in World War Two."
Writer/director David Ayer adds, "It's a little bit sad that Latinos made a huge contribution to the war effort in World War Two - and not just in uniform; between half a million served and there's no records but on the homefront as the white boys went to fight they had to fill these jobs in the factories.
"As I looked at the period photographs of these tank crews you'd start to see more and more Latinos. Unfortunately in these prior films they haven't shown that aspect or that diversity."
Brad Pitt felt like an idiot on the set of his new war movie Fury after clashing with co-star Scott Eastwood for "disrespecting" their tank - only to realize the acting newcomer was just doing his job.
The Fight Club star portrays a battle-hardened army sergeant leading his tank crew on a deadly mission in the World War II drama, and he admits tensions ran high during one scene after he and actor Shia LaBeouf took issue with Eastwood spitting all over the vehicle. Pitt tells Britain's GQ magazine, "We were driving down the road, I'm in the turret, Shia is at the other turret, and Scott is on the back, spitting juice. And I'm starting to get p**sed off, I'm starting to get hot, because this is our home, he's disrespecting our home, you know? "So I said, in the scene with the cameras rolling, 'You're going to clean that s**t up.' Shia clocks it, and you have to understand, we've been through severe boot camp already. We've been through a lot in this tank. Shia saw it and felt the same - he's disrespecting our home. "So, Shia had the same reaction I did and started having some words... Then I had to get in after the cameras were rolling and explain it to Scotty, you know."
However, Pitt soon realized Clint Eastwood's son was just taking direction from Fury writer/filmmaker David Ayer.
He explains, "The funny thing is, when we got home at the end of the day and read the script, it said Scotty's character is 'chewing tobacco and spitting it on the back of the tank.' He was just doing as instructed in the script! So we were the knobs (idiots) in the end." Meanwhile, Pitt has showered praise on co-star LaBeouf, insisting the Transformers actor is a real talent. He adds, "Oh, I love this boy. He's one of the best actors I've ever seen. He's full-on commitment, man. He's living it like no one else, let me tell you. I've been fortunate to work with a lot of great actors. He's one of the best I've seen."
Combining the looks of Hollywood hunks George Clooney and Brad Pitt with sports icon David Beckham will produce the perfect man's face, according to a new survey. Clooney's greying hair, his Ocean's Eleven co-star Pitt's nose, and retired soccer ace Beckham's beard would all feature on the ideal fantasy man, according to the poll by the Crown Clinic, Britain's leading hair transplant centre.
Actor Bradley Cooper's eyes and British model David Gandy's chin complete the look of the perfect older man.
For those under the age of 30, One Direction's Harry Styles has the best hair, and the perfect face would be a combination of Zac Efron's eyes, Ryan Gosling's jawline, Fifty Shades of Grey star Jamie Dornan's nose, and Robert Pattinson's stubble.
Dr. Asim Shahmalak, from the Crown Clinic, says, "Have you ever seen David Beckham or George Clooney have a bad hair day? Whatever hairstyle they adopt, they look amazing. It is the same with their facial hair: clean-shaven, heavy stubble, full beard - they look fantastic with all of them... It is worth noting that all the men picked out for their beauty have a full head of hair. Going grey may be no barrier to sexiness but going bald certainly is in the eyes of most people."
As the fall draws closer, it brings with it the start of Oscar season, when every studio unveils its biggest, buzziest and most dramatic films in an attempt to earn some recognition on the biggest night in Hollywood. And while every year does turn out a great deal of excellent films and incredible performances, at a certain point they all start to feel the same, with one domestic drama blending into another and period pieces all attempting to outshine each other. But there is some variety hidden amongst the Oscar bait, with some films providing original, interesting stories or creative twists on classic plots. In case you’re looking to add some variety to your fall film lineup, we’ve run down the best, most original awards bait hitting theaters this fall. Once December hits, however, it's every moviegoer for himself.
Interstellar Smack dab in the middle of Oscar season, Christopher Nolan will finally unveil his latest epic, Interstellar. Part post-apocalyptic drama, part space opera, part Hollywood blockbuster, and Phase II of the McConaissance, the film follows a group of explorers who set off in for a wormhole that will allow them to travel from one solar system to another in search of resources that can save the earth now that it’s run out of food. So, you know, just your usual low-key, easy to follow, low-stakes story. Opens: November 7
The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby Every year, there’s at least one Oscar baity film the centers on a relationship falling apart, but The Disappearance of Eleanor Rigby puts a new spin on that old classic by creating an epic, two-part film that tells the story from both his (James McAvoy) and her (Jessica Chastain) perspectives. Since premiering at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival to rave reviews, we’ve been waiting impatiently for our chance to see the film. As it turns out, we’ll actually get two: a one-film version which blends both sides together will be released along with the original two-film version. Opens: September 12
The Boxtrolls Of all the films being released at the end of 2014 – war epics, biopics, highly-anticipated comebacks – one of the most exciting is an animated film about the friendly trolls who live under the sewers of a small English village. That’s because The Boxtrolls is the latest film from Laika, the stop-motion studio that has made such wonderful films as Coraline and ParaNorman. Like its predecessors, The Boxtrolls looks like an incredibly detailed, magical, funny adventure, but unlike them, we’re hoping that the studio will finally be able to get the recognition they deserve for their labors of love. And with no Disney or Pixar films to compete, they might finally have a shot. Opens: September 26
Gone Girl We know, we know: you’re probably sick of hearing about Gone Girl. But the buzz surrounding the film, its stars, the book it’s based on doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon, so you might as well embrace it. Besides, it gives us yet another opportunity to study the enigma that is Ben Affleck’s career. Will he get a third Oscar for this? Will it finally make people take him seriously as an actor and filmmaker? Are we all going to stop praising him the second the first trailer for Batman V. Superman comes out? Nobody knows. Opens: October 3
Sony Pictures Releasing
Fury It wouldn’t be awards season without a World War II drama, and 2014 is no exception. However, in addition to the typical slate of inspiring biopics and domestic dramas about the home-front, Brad Pitt and David Ayer are offering Fury. It’s a small-scale – well, as small scale as a world war gets – film about the lives and missions of a single tank crew tasked with venturing behind enemy lines, and it features a cast of acclaimed, yet underappreciated actors like Logan Lerman, Jon Berenthal, and Michael Pena. Just when you thought you’d seen every single war drama that’s been made, there finally comes one that’s actually intriguing. Opens: November 14
Kill the Messenger His Avengers co-star Robert Downey Jr. might have a higher-profile film opening that day, but we’re much more interested in Jeremy Renner’s Kill the Messenger. Based on the true story of Gary Webb, a reporter who uncovered the CIA’s connection to the Nicaraguan drug trade, the film centers on the manhunt that Webb became a part of after going public with his evidence. It’s the biggest, most intense role that Renner has had since The Hurt Locker, and after years of being overlooked in favor of his showier co-star, we’re excited to see him get some of the attention he deserves. Opens: October 10
Birdman Everyone love a comeback story, right? Well, how about one that’s a little more surreal? That’s what Michael Keaton is going for with his upcoming film Birdman, which takes places over the course of the several days in which washed-up actor Riggan Thompson, who made his name as superhero, attempts to mount a comeback with a play that he wrote, directed and is starring in. With Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu at the helm and a cast featuring Emma Stone, Naomi Watts, and Edward Norton, we’d be interested in this even if it weren’t Keaton’s first big film in years. Opens: October 17
Beyond the Lights After winning over audiences everywhere with her breakthrough role in Amma Asante’s Belle, Gugu Mbatha-Raw is set to prove that she can do more than just period pieces with Beyond the Lights. Mbatha-Raw plays Noni, a Rihanna-like pop star struggling with being a puppet for her pushy stage mom and greedy record executives, who finds joy in a relationship with down-to-earth cop Kaz (Nate Parker). The story might be familiar to anyone who saw Britney Spears’ “Lucky” video, but it’s the perfect opportunity for Mbatha-Raw to really showcase her talent with a role that requires her to sing, dance, fall in love, and break our hearts. Opens: November 14
Funnyman David Spade celebrated his 50th birthday with a star-studded bash at the Sunset Tower Hotel in Los Angeles this week (beg21Jul14). The comedian turned 50 on Tuesday (22Jul14) and was joined at the gathering that evening by Chris Rock, Judd Apatow, Sarah Silverman and Steve Martin, according to E! Online.
Spade was surprised with a special birthday video filled with messages from his celebrity pals, including Sir Elton John, Jennifer Aniston, Brad Pitt, Courteney Cox, Rob Lowe, Sean Penn, Adam Sandler and his co-stars from TV shows Just Shoot Me! and Rules of Engagement.
A source source tells E! Online, "Most people did funny comedy bits or jokes, but some were also sincere and heartfelt."
Think you know everything about Tilda Swinton? Just kidding. Anybody who's ever seen that woman on the red carpet knows that there's no way they could possibly know the depths of hers soul. But still, fans did get a few fun tidbits from her Reddit AMA. One of the highlights of her Ask Me Anything experience was a story about her time with Brad Pitt on the set of The Case of Benjamin Button. Apparently, it wasn't all work and no play.
She confesses that, at one point, she and Pitt "had arranged two potatoes and a carrot in a specific configuration on the kitchen table." Director David Fincher had no idea until after the take.
You are now free to go re-watch The Case of Benjamin Button more closely than anyone ever should.
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Brad Pitt is being deployed once again. This time, in David Ayer's upcoming war drama Fury, which centers on a five-man tank crew making one last push against the Germans in the final weeks of World War II. But the team finds itself terribly outnumbered and behind enemy lines. Pitt's Sergeant Wardaddy (nope, that's not a joke, that's really his name) stands at the center of Fury. He's a hardened, weary-eyed patrol leader that has marched his tank squad across the numerous fronts of WWII. Now his team is preparing to strike at the heart of the Nazi war machine, but the long battle has chipped away at their souls. Through its grit and intensity, the Fury trailer serves foremost as a reminder that Pitt might very well be at his best when playing a war hero.
His rugged good looks, strong jaw, and steady voice perfectly mirror the type of brave men we imagine were really stomping through the fields of Europe and Africa during the real WWII. Wardaddy seems eerily similar to Inglourious Basterds' Lt. Aldo Raine, a man who also fought Nazis behind enemy lines... though we don't think Wardaddy will be as scalp-happy as Lt. Raine. Both men had scars that told stories and experienced events during the war that fundamentally changed them.
Pitt is great at giving these soldiers layers. Wardaddy is a man putting on a brave face, even as his foundations are cracking at the joints. Looking as far back as 1994's Legends of the Fall, Pitt has always been great at giving soldier characters a sense of duty, honor, toughness, and vulnerability; all things that seem to be rolled into Pitt's portrayal of Wardaddy. We'll have to wait and see to be sure, but Fury looks like the latest in a line of good war performances from Brad Pitt.
Fury hits theaters November 14.
Paramount via Everett Collection
Actor Dylan Baker has been tapped to play former U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation director J. Edgar Hoover in the Martin Luther King, Jr. biopic Selma.
The Spider-Man 2 star will portray the government official who famously wiretapped the civil rights leader's office in a failed bid to prove he was a part of the Communist party, according to Deadline.com.
Baker will join a cast that includes David Oyelowo as King, Cuba Gooding, Jr. as American civil rights lawyer Fred Gray, British actor Tom Wilkinson as former U.S. president Lyndon B. Johnson and Tim Roth, who will portray controversial U.S. governor George Wallace.
Oprah Winfrey, who will play civil rights protester Annie Lee Cooper in the film, and Brad Pitt are among the producers of the project.