There are times when when an actor joins a film by a certain director that you would just never expect. For instance, I would never have imagined that Matthew McConaughey would be starring in a Martin Scorsese film, but that’s now happening and after the former’s stunning year of projects, no one can begrudge him for working with a director like Scorsese.
Another actor-director team up I could never imagine is an actor of limited range, known for turgid “family friendly” blockbusters like Shia LaBeouf, joining a film by a self labelled Nazi sympathiser and critically labelled misogynist like Lars von Trier.
But hey, some things you just can’t predict. By 2013, when trailers and posters are being released for The Nymphomaniac, the new film by Lars von Trier, it is highly likely that we will see Shia LaBeouf‘s face in them. Lord knows where the hell this collaboration come from but one could place a solid bet on the fact that von Trier saw THAT Sigur Ros video where LaBeouf went full frontal. And we all know Lars likes a bit of full frontal.
For a film called The Nymphomaniac, which deals with a woman’s erotic desire and will feature some highly explicit sex scenes, to have an actor who is not afraid of being naked on camera is probably a big selling point.
All that aside, it is good to see LaBeouf branching out as an actor. He has been a charisma vacuum in the past but one wonders whether that was down to the material he chose to star in. And like Matthew McConaughey, LaBeouf was tired of the work he was doing and openly said he wants to make more interesting projects with filmmakers that have something to say.
These next couple of years could see a real career revival for Shia LaBeouf. We will next see him in John Hillcoat’s Lawless opposite actors like Jessica Chastain, Tom Hardy, Guy Pearce and Gary Oldman, and then he’s in Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep, which debuts at TIFF.
Lars von Trier is a bold leap from those two filmmakers but if he wants to broaden his talent as an actor, then working on a von Trier film will certainly do that.
The Nymphomaniac will shoot toward the end of the summer with Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Willem Dafoe and Nicole Kidman.