Using a lift can always be a bit awkward – standing in a small, enclosed space with people you don’t know is just strange, but it’s got nothing on Shia LaBeouf’s elevator experience.
During his latest piece of performance art, Shia LaBeouf reluctantly slapped a fan, after being egged on to do so by the fan himself.
In a YouTube video of the incident, the fan who’s been identified as student Oscar Plomer-Roberts, can be heard saying: ‘I’m a performance artist,’ before adding: ‘Can you help me with the completion of my next piece by punching me in the face?’
Although LaBeouf was less than keen about hitting the fan, he did eventually give him a light slap.
The 29-year-old actor and two members of his art collective spent 24 hours over the weekend in a lift at Oxford University’s student union building for his #ELEVATE project. The idea was to give students access to the star and his friends, so they could have a bit of a chat.
However, Plomer-Roberts was less interested in chatting and more interested in action, telling LaBeouf, ‘Do it, don’t be a pussy’ after the actor told him he didn’t want to punch him very hard.
The student finally settled on being slapped instead but, again, LaBeouf wasn’t keen until the student reminded everyone that ‘this is the man who gave himself two scars [for a film].’
LaBeouf responded: “I’ll do it to myself but I don’t like doing it to you, dude… I just met you.”
However, seconds later, the sound of a light slap can be heard. According to Oxford’s student newspaper, Cherwell, Plomer-Roberts, a first-year English student at Oxford’s St. John’s College, asked to be hit because he was worried the star might be ‘bored’, so he was looking for ‘weird shit’ to ask the Transformers star.
Entertainment Tonight got in touch with Plomer-Roberts who made sure to emphasise that LaBeouf came across as a ‘seriously nice guy’.
I asked him to punch me, and he connected a sort of play-punch as a joke obviously… Then I asked for a slap instead, because he was obviously uncomfortable with the prospect of hurting someone because, I might add, he’s a really nice guy.
The star even posed for a picture in the lift.
Plomer-Roberts thinks LaBeouf’s hesitancy to hit him probably stems from how the media has previously covered him, but made sure to say the actor was a ‘great guy’ for going along with the slap.
There was one more surprise Plomer-Roberts had in store. Apparently, he’s not a performance artist at all and only said it as a joke.
The ‘performance artist’ thing was a sort of dig at Shia, because it sounds like some sort of crazy thing he’d do for the sake of ‘art… But I meant it as a joke, and he had the sense to take it as one.
Fair enough, but it’s is a bit of a weird joke, right? I
Anyway, if you fancy watching Shia’s full 24 hours in the lift, the video is below.
More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism.
Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV.
He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.