Tom Hardy has praised Shia Labeouf’s acting skills despite once being knocked out cold by the method actor.
Shia is famous for fully immersing himself into character, and his previous on-set antics include getting a tooth pulled out while playing a soldier in WWII drama Fury and drinking moonshine by the gallon when he starred opposite Tom and Jason Clarke in 2012 Prohibition-era flick Lawless.
It was while in character as Tom’s little brother Jack that Shia sprung a surprise attack on the English star, leaving him to wake up in the arms of his personal trainer.
“A performer is asked to do two things: To be disciplined and accountable, communicative and a pleasure to work with,” Tom said in a new profile on Shia in American Esquire. “And then, within a split second, they’re asked to be a psychopath. Authentically. It takes a very strong human being to sustain a genuine sense of well-being through that baptism of fire. Drama is not known to attract stable types.
“Shia has the ability to land scene after scene that builds a reality from utter fantasy. We know the robots aren’t really there. They just aren’t. When I watch Shia, they are.”
Shia revealed the tussle during a chat with Details magazine before the film had even come out in 2011, with Tom also spilling on the altercation that same year. During a chat with Den of Geek, the 40-year-old recalled what went down on the set of John Hillcoat’s drama.
“He knocked me out sparko. Out cold. He’s a bad, bad boy. He is. He’s quite intimidating as well. He’s a scary dude,” he said. “He just attacked me. He was drinking moonshine. I was wearing a cardigan, and er, went down. I woke up in (my personal trainer) P-Nut’s arms.
“I was like, ‘What was that? It was lightning fast’. And he said, ‘That was Shia‘. I said, ‘F**kin’ hell. Can we go home now? ‘No, we’ve still got three weeks to finish.'”