Shia LaBeouf: Different ‘Transformers’ Vibe After Megan Fox Left

Published 4 years ago by , Updated August 13th, 2013 at 10:49 am,

In the aftermath of the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen critical lashing and lackluster reaction from many fans (despite enormous commercial success), director Michael Bay was caught-up in a number of uncomfortable conversations. While the negative reaction to the infamous robot Twins, Skids and Mudflap continues to rage-on, the exit of Megan Fox, Bay’s leading lady (whose career the director essentially jump-started) was arguably the most awkward – and left a lot of uncertainty as to what affect the departure would have on Transformers: Dark of the Moon.

Following the casting of Bay’s new Victoria’s Secret model-turned-leading lady, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and with the next Transformers film less than one month away, cast member Shia LaBeouf is discussing how Fox’s departure affected the Transformers: Dark of the Moon on-set vibe.

Speaking with Hero Complex, LaBeouf certainly indicates that Huntington-Whiteley improved the Transformers work environment, but it’s somewhat hard to tell whether or not either of the high-profile actresses (or potentially Bay himself) will take his comments as praise or a slight.

“Megan developed this Spice Girl strength, this woman-empowerment [stuff] that made her feel awkward about her involvement with Michael, who some people think is a very lascivious filmmaker, the way he films women. Mike films women in a way that appeals to a 16-year-old sexuality. It’s summer. It’s Michael’s style. And I think [Fox] never got comfortable with it. This is a girl who was taken from complete obscurity and placed in a sex-driven role in front of the whole world and told she was the sexiest woman in America. And she had a hard time accepting it. When Mike would ask her to do specific things, there was no time for fluffy talk. We’re on the run. And the one thing Mike lacks is tact. There’s no time for [LaBeouf assumes a gentle voice] ‘I would like you to just arch your back 70 degrees.’”

While the comment is obviously tongue-in-cheek, LaBeouf paints an uncomfortable picture of a Transformers shooting day – not to mention the potentially inflammatory description of Bay “filming women in a way that appeals to a 16-year-old sexuality.” Obviously, LaBeouf is just calling it like he sees it, but it’s unwise to assume that Bay will just go ahead and take the assertion as a charming compliment. Similarly, LeBeouf seems to be, at some level, praising Fox for being an empowered leading lady – while at the same time undermining that strength by comparing her to a Spice Girl and asserting that, as a result, she was difficult to work with and incompatible with Bay’s approach to filmmaking.

That said, it’s no surprise to hear LaBeouf praise his new love-interest, but besides the compliment/criticism directed at Fox, the actor then proceeds to lay out a somewhat bizarre picture of Huntington-Whitley – pointing out that the Victoria’s Secret model is better-suited for a Bay shoot – i.e. one geared toward “16-year-old sexuality.”

“Rosie comes with this Victoria’s Secret background, and she’s comfortable with it, so she can get down with Mike’s way of working and it makes the whole set vibe very different.”

Certainly, LaBeouf is attempting to be supportive of Huntington-Whitley, but given the “model-turned-actress” label and untested criticism that fans have heaped on the newly-minted starlet, it’s hard to imagine that the Transformers actress would be as flattered by that comment as she would have been by one that highlights her success on-screen.

Transformers Dark of the Moon 3 Shia LaBeouf: Different ‘Transformers’ Vibe After Megan Fox Left

Even when LaBeouf directs his attention to the film itself, there’s still a hint of the actor’s feelings about his two leading-ladies:

“Sam’s sort of frustrated. He has no purpose in life. When he was with the Autobots, he had purpose. He was needed. But he’s got this very supportive girl [Huntington-Whitley's Carly Miller] who’s having him go to these job interviews and trying to nurture him, get him back on his feet. It’s a different female energy than he experienced with Mikaela, who was a very cold biker chick. This woman’s more of a maternal, loving type. Sam wants a domestic, eggs-in-the-morning kind of a thing.”

No doubt LaBeouf is in a tough spot: he has to roll with the punches he’s been dealt here; performers and directors have falling-outs and replacements are cast all the time. The industry is an awkward place where someone like LaBeouf has to toe the line between promoting the film he’s out there to sell, while also communicating his feelings in a way that isn’t mean-spirited or alienating. Still, while LaBeouf may have genuinely been aiming to compliment everyone here, there is still a lot of room for miscommunication and misconception in his wording.

With a month left until the release of Bay’s final Transformers film we’ll have to wait a bit longer to see how the LaBeouf/Huntington-Whitley dynamic plays-out on screen. Love or hate Megan Fox (much like LaBeouf seems to assert), there’s no doubt that she had a big impact on the franchise – and left some large shoes to fill.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick — and let us know which Transformers girl is your favorite.

Transformers: Dark of the Moon hits regular theaters and IMAX on July 1st, in 2D and 3D.

Source: Hero Complex

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  1. I read the “cold biker chick” vs “domestic, eggs-in-the-morning kind of a thing” as him clumsily explaining what’s going on in the script. There was no indication that Mikayla wasn’t supportive of Sam in the second film but it’s what Michael Bay pushed into the film to justify her exit and force the audience to like the new girl. It seems heavy handed and is most likely so based on the way they (Fox and Bay) parted terms.

    • I just watched the new Transformer’s: Dark Side of the Moon for the first time since it has been out and the Victoria Secret model by far does not come close to how amazing Megan Fox was in the first two Bay films. I am not saying the model/actress is bad at acting, but just not for this particular part. Megan Fox made that part out to be what all the girls wanted to be like and all the guys just wanted, a super hot girl that could fix cars and wasn’t scared to fight. I refused to go see the movie in theatres because I knew it was going to be no where near as good without Fox. Fox’s character helped “Sam” (Shia Labeouf) kick-butt in the first two movies, where as “Sam’s new girl” just ran, scram and hid. Any ways I am not trying to bash any one, but once a great movie hits, the sequels are hard to live up to the first’s reputation and this last one was a total let down for a lot of people probably not making near what the other two racked in. Fox is a great actress, most likely raised small town with manners, morals and used to “normal hardworking middle class life” then taken from all that and became exuberantly famous with out knowing what it was even like to be famous. Anyone that would come from a middle-class working family to mega famous would be “star struck” and be a huge adjustment to deal with. Not to mention always being under the media’s obsessed watchful eye, twisting stories and all the unkind things them or regular people are willing to do to sell a story real or fake for the whole world to read, watch or whatever the case may be just so they can make a buck no matter who it hurts. I am sure it would be a hard life to become used to, from everyone trying to scam money from you, to having to be away from your friends and family for months or longer to be with people you may have just met for 10 minutes. I must say I hope to see Fox in many future movies and for the model/actress that played the new girl in Transformers 3,this was just not the part for her. The part did not seem to suit her pretty image or style of acting. She would be better atanother kind of acting, but did a good job filling a part that Megan Fox set such a high bar for.

  2. Interesting how Labeouf and everything around him is a mess in the screenshot yet all of Huntington-Whitley looks so clean it’s like she was just released out of a vacuum seal container.

    • One day on the set…

      Cut! Cut! Cut!! Damn it, Cut!! There’s a piece of dirt on her shoulder! Will someone remove it??!? Someone?!? Please?!? OK, good… (sighs). Finally… OK, Take 25!!

    • LOL I noticed that too and it is made even more obvious due to her wearing white. Someone should tell Bay that women can still be hot with a little dirt on them. No studies yet on if dirt can improve acting but if she’s bad let’s just hope she doesn’t have many lines.

      • Thank you so much! I post 2-3 times per week and would love if you checked back often. :)

  3. So… in other words: “Michael Bay really just wants to direct porn, but it has the wrong kind of explosions. So he makes crappy action flicks with slutty looking girls.”

    • Sexplosions for everyone!

  4. Can never trust Shia. He really is a brown-noser.

    • Probably is, but in the two quotations above, he’s probably being more honest than he meant to be. I can tell he was not trying to say anything “controversial” or pointed, but his true feelings seemed to come out.

  5. I hope Shia and Tyresse get killed by Decpticons

    • why is that ?

  6. Glad Fox is gone. Her looks are over-rated (yes, I said that), and her “acting” is atrocious. Okay, so Whiteley’s acting isn’t much better, but at least she’s more easier to look at IMO.

    Wonder how long it will take for the Fox hounds to bash me for not praising her looks.

    • Wrong on all accounts.

    • Right on all accounts. Megan Fox is VERY overrated.

      • I’d rather look at Megan Fox than Huntington-Whiteley. It’s hard not to look past her huge forehead and big, plastic-surgery lips. They both can act about as well as a piece of wood.

        • I think the piece of wood has the upper hand. 8-)

    • In terms of acting, meh, I liked Fox’s character a bit better in the first film, but honestly she wasn’t there to act to begin with. Looks? Fox was way hot in the first film, looked all Botoxed up in the second film, and the girl in the 3rd film looks like she got beat in the face with a crowbar.

  7. Whether Shia is a brown-noser or not, he still seemed to be very forthcoming with his thoughts with his comments here, which I found to be pretty fascinating. It could actually be a very good basis for an interesting essay on sexuality in current present-day Hollywood movies! Thanks for writing this article, Ben.

  8. Overrated for Hollywood maybe, but compared to average everyday chicks? I’d give her a 9.

    • Overrated can you post up a pic of what you date then?

    • I had a HUGE scathing reply but just in case you didn’t mean anything by your comment I’ll just say that I’m sort of offended by your “average everyday chicks” phrasing.

    • I see girls that go to my Church that are far more attractive than Megan Fox (not making this up).

  9. Shia made a lot of good points. People who can read in between the lines can see that it wasn’t easy for Meagan. I’m not praising her beauty nor her acting skill but from where Shia comes from, not everybody is comfortable being sold as a sex symbol. She is human after all. :)

  10. It sounds to me like everyone is just getting tired.

  11. Personally, I liked Megan Fox and I thought her character in Transformers was very supportive, while at the same time maintaining her own independence. However, if Michael Bay and Megan Fox don’t get along, then so be it. She got tired of being arm candy in an action flick, and he got tired of her not showing more skin. I am sad to see her go, but I am also happy that Shia isn’t throwing her under the bus for it. And I will be watching Transformers 3 despite my reservations about the Victoria Secret model.

  12. ok, so if she (MF) doesn’t want to been seen as a sex object, why did she do Jonah Hex??

  13. i hate how female leads manage to have their make-up perfectly in tact even when going through hell, perfect example is kierra knightly from pirates of the carribean, after watching 1+2 again, i noticed that she was a glossy tidy face throughout the whole damn movie, a movie set in the olden days where they had no detal, posh make-up or hair straighteners.

    i miss the old days where the women would get dirty, it added to the intensity of the action (like sarah connor from t2, or the women from aliens (forgot name)).

    on topic: everything besides the acting and actors will be great (in regards to the movie), special effects looks insane, and the action so far looks better then 1+2 (mainly b/c the camera doesn’t seem so ‘in your face’).

    • That would be Ripley and yes, I agree. Women are allowed to get dirty. It won’t damage our delicate sensibilities haha.

  14. This isn’t the first time the kid has stuck it to Bay in an interview, or been honest about what he saw as a bad film, or performance. He apologized to audiences for TF2, and said the third film would make up for it. He also was very critical of the last Indiana Jones film. I think he comes off as a brown noser because of his style of speaking, but I respect anyone that can come out and say, “yeah, we blew it on that one.”

    • I concur. Shia might not be the best actor out there, but at least he knows his mistakes. Humility is a fine quality in an actor.

      • I agree with both of your statements.

    • Oh and good write up, Ben!

    • I don’t even know where to start with your comment and victim-blaming. No matter how a woman dresses, she deserves respect. As a fellow woman, grow up.

  15. LeBeouf explained it well because Megan Fox didn’t leave because of Michael Bay’s hard work but it was his work to film scenes that made her hot.

    The reason why she was named the hottest woman on the planet wasn’t because she thinks she was hot but it was the audience and Bay used it as a way to make more money where the first Transformers movie in it, she wasn’t made lto look like she want to be hot then Bay went over the top with the second film where he did lots of work on the effects and making her hot than making the script right.

    Just hope Roise can act as she is the new love intreset and the film may fall apart if she can’t act but still Shia, Josh, Tyrese And John are back with some new robots.

  16. As long as Rosie looks hot, John Turturro is funny, and Shia screams ‘OPTIMUS’ at the right time in the movie, it will do well. Bay is sadly the best at blowing stuff up, and this movie is mostly about robots from space. Racist robots and too much story ruined the second one, a mistake they will not repeat.
    As far as Fox leaving, suck it up lady. Fast forward to her VH1: where are they now in ten years, she will be regretting missing out on that one big paycheck. Does she think people go to work at McDonalds every day because they believe that hamburgers change the world? No, they go to work to keep living. Arrogant of Fox to assume she’s entitled to more just because she got semi-famous for a minute.
    Flame on

    • HAHAHA so true about him yelling “Optimus”…I can hear it already. :)

  17. This film ought to be titled “Friends With Transformers 3: Still Focusing on Humans.”

  18. I think that no matter Megan Fox’s acting ability in her other movies, she did very well in Transformers and many people including myself are questioning the value of the franchise without her.

    That being said, on another note, I’d like to point out that the release date for Dark of the Moon was moved up and is now JUNE 29, not July 1.

    • The value of the franchise without her? Are you serious?! She added nothing but eye candy to the films. Yes, she wasn’t as terrible in the Transformers films as she has been in others but that’s hardly a step up.

      • Sometimes the right eye candy makes the movie. You can’t really deny that. And what she had worked, especially for the guys (of all ages, not just 16) watching the movies. You think we all watch it for Shia or the often terrible CGI?

        • Eye candy does not “make” a movie. Thats porn, and mist porn stars to me are not attractive. Take away their makeup and you got a trashy looking woman with fake boobs and and ordinary looks at best. Therefore thats different. Yes eye candy can be great in normal movies, especially classier ones with an interesting story and good acting. For example Angelina Jolie in Lara Croft films, or other actresses like Rachel Weisz, Mila Kunis, Mila Jovovich, Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and Charlize Theron in some of their films… Or for the women – Brad Pitt in Thelma & Louise or Brad Pitt on Troy, etc etc… However the difference is that all of those actors mentioned above are talented and do a lot more than just look good onscreen, they add their acting skills to the film and make their role more interesting. Thats what a good movie often has to have. Eye candy can’t save a bad movie on its own and it only barely covers up bad acting

          • *most

      • The way you keep harping on Fox’s looks really makes you come off as jealous. The lady doth protest too much..?

  19. Both of these women are just a distraction on-screen and off. All of this talk about Fox not getting along with Bay, this new woman probably not being able to act has nothing to do with these movies just being awful in general. Aside from the work of the CGI artists these movies are the modern equivalent of the old Godzilla movies, without the heart and way more wanton destruction.

    The human characters in these movies are just an annoyance and the actual robots have little of the personality the ones in the old cartoons did, aside from Step and Fetch-it comedy acts like those twins. Optimus Prime and Megatron are the only stand-outs and that probably has to do with Bay not being as involved with those guys doing their voice-over work. Thing is though Peter Cullen can do Prime in his sleep and Weaving just clearly is no slouch.

  20. I like how the second picture, the one with Labouf and Rosie Huntington beside the burning bus. The promotionial picture is cropped in such a way that the words on the bus says “BAY CITY”.

    • Good eye. I didn’t even notice.

  21. I think a lot is being made of nothing (Shia’s comments). He is not the President of the United States. His thoughts aren’t deeply provoking pieces of history that will be recorded for people 50 years down the road. He was answering a question. I take it simply and to point. Nothing more to see hear, IMO.

  22. That new girl, Huntington-Whitley, looks like one of the White Chicks from the movie White Chicks.

    Marlon or Shawn?


  23. I agree with Bay. I would also like Fox to arch her back 70 degrees.

  24. 1) Michael Bay is not a good director. He can film interesting action scenes and explosions, but his films overall are not that good and they’re all the same – meaning most of his films lack depth & the target audience always seems to be the same young guys who only care about action scenes and objectified attractive women (who they do not stand a chance with). Shia basically summed it up right. The only Michael Bay film I liked was The Island.
    2) Megan Fox’s acting in Tranaformers was not good. I haven’t seen her do anything great yet. However I think part of the reason why her acting sucked in the franchise also comes down to the directiom and how her character was portrayed.
    3) Im not a fan of Megan Fox but if Shia is right about the things he said above then I have more respect for her because no woman needs to degrade herself or let herself be objectified. Im sure most people would not be comfortable with being perved on by a bunch of strangers. If she chooses better roles with classier directors than she may have potential.
    4) Both Megan Fox and Rosie Huntington-Whiteley are attractive. Rosie (as far as we can tell from childhood photos) has not had any noticeable plastic surgery (her lips were always big), while Megan Fox has definitely had some plastic surgery starting from Transformers (google it and you will see visible changes in her nose, lips and chest). Regardless both women are pretty and Fox looked a little better to me before all the surgeries, although her new classier style with pale skin and less eye makeup is better to me. People need to stop arguing about which one of them looks better because there is no correct answer. Beauty is subjective and it is in the eyes of the beholder. We all have different tastes and opinions. Just because 1 million people might find someone attractive that does not mean everyone else in the world will. No one can be attractive to everyobe no matter who they are. Its life and its normal so just give it a rest. Some people will like Rosie more, some will like Megan more, some will like both equally, and some will like none. Who cares?
    5) Stop criticising people in mean way for how they look. You can have your opinion but opinions are not facts most of the time. So stop picking flaws on others when no human being is perfect (especially if you take away makeup and styling). Its funny how many guys criticise how certain women look and they judge or rate them – but NONE of those guys would even stand a chance with those women. A lot of guys seem to forget that they are not a handsome Greek God and even some of those who think they are appealing to women, mught not really be! Therefore before criticising or judging how a woman looks, you should look in a mirror yourself and make sure your not be a major hypocrite who has no chance with someobe that is likely to be out of their league anyway. Obviously having a good heart, loyalty and nice personality are very important in order to keep a woman, but don’t judge on looks and criticse others when you’re not a young male model. Im just saying this coz I read some stupid comments above where people were picking flaws and criticising the looks of some of these people. Treat people the way you want to be treated.

  25. what is up with the writer of this article? its so biased that this author is attacking shia instead of simply putting what he said. could of gone without aall the ahole commentary and just read the quotes. im so glad shia isnt being rude or throwing shade to megans role or departure, i much liked them together in the movies.
    also very glad he isnt intimidated or afraid to speak out about the truth of michael bays filming techniques in sexualising the women to sell better. although megan did look beautiful in both 1 and 2, she was a good actor and a good character. bay should have just put his shiite aside and kept her instead of fugding up 3 like he did with adding rosie. dumb macho man director.