Last night, the Oscars was full of surprises. Rapper Enimen took the Academy stage to perform his hit song Lose Yourself from the 2002 film 8 Mile. Additionally, Billie Eilish’s surprise performance paid tribute to noteworthy filmmakers and stars that had passed, including Lakers Giant Kobe Bryant. Perhaps the most startingly appearance was made by Zack Gottsagen, the first disabled actor to present at the Academy Awards. No one should’ve been more grateful than Gottsagen’s The Peanut Butter Falcon co-star Shia LaBeouf. However, fans were displeased with LaBeouf’s disrespectful behavior toward Gottsagen. While fans reprimanded the star for his rude behavior, others leaped to his defense.
Among those to defend the 33-year old actor was Honey Boy director Alma Har’el. The praiseworthy director stated that “LaBeouf was chosen to present at the Oscars and made a request that his co-star and friend, Zack Gottsagen be brought on stage with him.” If anything, Har’el’s statement did not address LaBeouf’s alleged improper behavior. Instead, it brushed the issue aside, leading to the speculation that the 33-year old actor was poking fun at his co-star. Given LaBeouf’s issues with the law and overall bad life choices, his reaction isn’t all that shocking.
What makes this story even worse is that LaBeouf is supposedly friends with co-star Gottsagen. After working together on the set of The Peanut Butter Falcon, the two developed an unlikely friendship. The two actors spent their “evenings watching wrestling, walking the Georgia countryside, swimming in rivers, dancing on railroad tracks and having watermelon fights.” Their closeness came as a surprise to fans, given their personalities and earlier lives growing up. Gottsagen grew up with a supportive family and friends, while LaBeouf’s home life was troublesome. Guess opposites really do attract.
Music Monday: Selected Songs from the Wonderful Film, The Peanut Butter Falconhttps://t.co/iTQE4sHq7e @tpbfalcon @zachrgottsagen @thecampaignbook @chancemccoy @jessiepayo @parkerainsworth @jonathansadoff @gabewitcher @NoamPikelny @SaraWatkins
— Jim Borden (@jimborden) November 26, 2019
Not only is Gottsagen the Transformers actor’s friend but he also acts as his confidant. The two seemed to have grown closer than imagined. Shia LaBeouf stated in an interview that during his 2017 arrest, where he shot racial slurs at a black officer while drunk, Gottsagen had a sit down with him that set him straight. An emotional Shia LaBeouf recalled Gottsagen telling him to “shape up” and “how much he cared about him.” Turns out the pep talk worked. Ever since that day, LaBeouf has remained sober.
— Michigan Transition Services Association (@mitransitions) September 18, 2019
Throughout his career, LaBeouf has publicly displayed destructive behaviors that often get him in trouble with the law. The 33-year old has admitted to his issues with alcohol, as a result of deeper issues that started as early as his days on Disney. Since his 2017 arrest, the actor discovered that he uffered from PTSD due to the stress of publicity. Another contributing factor was a traumatic event LaBeouf experienced as a child. Hopefully with the help of his friends, mentors and Gottsagen, the actor can finally get the help that he needs.
When Shia LaBeouf showed up at the Oscars clean-shaven, it became apparent that the actor had done a lot of self-reflecting in rehab. Additionally, the late Holes actor sought refugee in the Slauson R.C. Theater Company, a performing arts program co-founded by him. The company’s mission is to welcome any experienced or untrained actors but LaBeouf made it clear his company isn’t a charity. Rather, the actor uses the theater company as an escapism from his life. Nonetheless, the actor claims he is happy where he’s at in life. A big part of that might have to do with Zack Gottsabgen. If he wants to remain friends with his co-star, he better treat him better.