If adventure has a name, it must be … Shia LaBeouf? Believe it, says the star of “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” who has been more secretive about the project than those dudes protecting the Holy Grail.
Until now. LaBeouf recently sat down with MTV News for his exclusive first interview about the fourth “Indiana Jones” movie . Read below to find out what he thinks about his role as a sidekick, the possible origins of crystal skulls , the prospect of more sequels and why he still thinks Indy should have had a daughter instead.
MTV: We’ve talked so many times in the last year, and you’ve been so good at keeping secrets. Now here we are, finally discussing “Indiana Jones.” What have you been waiting to share with the world but haven’t been able to until now?
Shia LaBeouf: I want to share a ton of stuff. It’s like winning the Super Bowl and not being able to tell anyone. But I can’t — you can’t see this, but there is a Brazilian tiger fighter standing behind the camera now with a big machete, ready to cut my face off.
MTV: Tell me about your character, Mutt.
LaBeouf: Mutt is a really rebellious, rustic, thick-skinned little fighter. He’s definitely the toughest character I’ve ever played. He’s pretty rough-and-tumble.
MTV: And how does he get caught up in the adventures of Harrison Ford’s world-traveling Dr. Jones?
LaBeouf: They’re looking for similar things and similar people, and their paths meet.
MTV: I guess what I’m getting at is, we’ve seen Indy sidekicks like Short Round, who’s a tagalong. Or Sean Connery [as Henry Jones], who’s on a parallel quest. What’s at stake for Mutt in this film? What is he looking for?
LaBeouf: He’s looking for, uh, he’s looking for similar things.
MTV: Would you say that his quest and Indiana’s quest converge?
LaBeouf: In a sense, yes.
MTV: The scenes from the earlier films are rightfully iconic. Is there a scene in this film that you can’t wait to show the world?
LaBeouf: We trained a lot for the sword fight, and that was tough. Riding that bike wasn’t easy. It was a really heavy bike, and having [Harrison] on the back is not easy, pressure-wise, because if you fall, that’s the end of the movie. You don’t want to be that guy. A lot of attention to detail went into that, making sure that we were safe on the bike. The switchblade was a lot of fun to mess with. I got really good at that.
MTV: Tell me about the sword fight, because I’ve seen that picture with the blade up to your neck. Who are you fighting?
LaBeouf: Spalko [Cate Blanchett], among other people. It’s a massive sword fight, and a lot of people are involved. It’s not just a one-on-one type of deal; it’s a big fight.
MTV: George Lucas has said that this is the funniest “Indy.” Where do you rank this film in terms of humor, if “Temple” has been the scariest and “Crusade” the funniest so far?
LaBeouf: I’m not gonna have a war of words with George. I’ll agree. Yes, sir! I think it’s the funniest.
MTV: Did you ever get a chance, onscreen or off, to test out the whip or try on the hat?
LaBeouf: No. I tried to sneak it one day, and Harrison wasn’t having it. He wasn’t having it at all.
MTV: What do you think is the most striking difference between the first three films and this film?
LaBeouf: I think [there's a] reflection aspect that the first three didn’t have. I mean, they had them, but definitely not this type of reflection. This is, like, a throwback type of reflection, especially for the audience.
I think that Cate is incredible. She might be the scariest villain in any of these films. She’s terrifying. This might be the best cast. Ray Winstone … have you seen “Nil by Mouth”?
LaBeouf: The guy is a beast.
MTV: Well, he’s a “Sexy Beast.”
LaBeouf: He’s a sexy beast! He’s an incredible actor. And Karen [Allen] is hot as all. I mean, I have a crush on Karen, you have a crush on Karen …
MTV: Of course.
LaBeouf: [Pointing off-camera] You have a crush on Karen.
MTV: The tiger fighter has a crush on Karen.
LaBeouf: I think they worked really hard on perfecting this, trying to make it as good as possible. And they spent a lot of time.
LaBeouf: That they’re impossible! It’s impossible to create one. The fact that they even exist is mind-boggling. It’s not just something you’ve read in the Bible or some idea of something. It’s for real. There’s factual evidence to support the fact that these things exist, yet they’re impossible to make.
MTV: Just looking at the poster, the skull appears otherworldly to me.
LaBeouf: Yeah, I know what you’re getting at. Just ’cause you got a clipboard don’t mean you can fool me, player. Yeah, it might seem that there’s [an alien origin].
MTV: George said this film to him hearkens back to “Raiders.” Do you sense that?
LaBeouf: Yeah, how do we increase the hype a little more? I think “Raiders” is “Raiders.” I don’t think you attempt to make another “Raiders.” Steven [Spielberg] has attempted to make this movie. I don’t think he was trying to relive or re-create any of those moments. I think he tried to create new ones that fit into this world. It’s not a regurgitation of old ideas and old moments. It’s a reintroduction. It’s very different.
MTV: Can you speak at all to whether or not Mutt is Indy’s son?
LaBeouf: I can’t.
MTV: I knew you were going to say that. When we spoke [before the release of] “Surf’s Up” at Sony, the Variety article had just come out [reporting on the "Indy" casting], and you had said that you didn’t think Indy should have a son. You said, wouldn’t it be cooler if Natalie Portman was his daughter? Do you still feel that way?
LaBeouf: As a fan, yeah, I thought it would have been cool to see Natalie Portman in this movie as the daughter, but that didn’t happen. But I was on that bandwagon. I was in the Natalie Portman fan club. I have a strange attraction to Natalie Portman.
MTV: It’s not strange.
LaBeouf: It’s not strange, is it? [We fist pound.] Get ‘em! As long as you and I both feel the same way, it’s not weird.
MTV: By the way, sir: You’re good. You’re good!
LaBeouf: I’m telling you! This is what happens. I didn’t sleep last night. I was sitting up all day doing these talking points. Kinda tired! Kinda crazy!
MTV: With all that said, would you ever roll the dice with another “Indy” movie?
LaBeouf: I’m not the guy to ask. Harrison’s the guy to ask. It all comes down to Harrison. He is Indiana Jones, and there’ll never be another Indiana Jones. [But] I’m so geeked out by this whole situation. I’d be an extra in any Steven Spielberg movie. So, yeah, of course. I mean, who wouldn’t?
Check out everything we’ve got on “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.”
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