Shia LaBeouf Got Two Missy Elliott Tattoos Out of ‘Peer Pressure’
In his latest profile with Variety, LaBeouf shared that he added 12 new designs to his growing body art collection while filming his upcoming film, American Honey. While shooting on the road with a bare bones cast and crew, the 30-year-old admitted that he had “bonded hard” with his co-stars — specifically when would visit local tattoo parlors late at night.
“You do whatever is required for it to be true, for it to be honest. I had to run this group, sort of like a pimp,” he recalled, explaining the ink on his knees, where two portraits of Elliott were permanently etched on his skin. “One of the things we’d do as a group, we’d all go to the fucking tattoo shop.”
“I don’t love Missy Elliott like I wanna get two Missy Elliott tattoos,” LaBeouf said, shrugging. “But you’re in a tattoo parlor, and… peer pressure.”
Though LaBeouf doesn’t regret his tats, he did reflect on the low points of his careers in the interview. Speaking about his infamous 2014 arrest, where he was taken into police custody for disrupting a Broadway performance of Cabaret, LaBeouf attributed his actions to his struggles with alcohol. According to him, the headline-making incident got even those he respected in the industry to tell him, “Life’s too short for this shit.“
“That shit almost fucked up my life,” LaBeouf, now sober for almost a year, confessed. “Alcohol or any of that shit will send you haywire. I can’t fuck with none of it. I’ve got to keep my head low.”
“I got a Napoleonic complex,” he continued. “I start drinking and I feel smaller than I am, and I get louder than I should. It’s just not for me, dude.”
Looking back as his tumultuous childhood with his father’s friends — “there were drugs everywhere — marijuana, cocaine, heroin” — and many brushes with the law, LaBeouf said he was probably fated to end up with a career like his, explaining, “I don’t think I’d be working with the directors I’ve been working with if I had not fucked up a bit.”
“The character was different initially,” he said. “Then Will [Smith] came in, and the script changed a bit. That character and Tom [Hardy’s] character [later played by Joel Kinnaman] got written down to build Will up.
“I don’t think Warner Bros. wanted me,” he explained. “I went in to meet, and they were like, ‘Nah, you’re crazy. You’re a good actor, but not this one.’ It was a big investment for them.”