Shia LaBeouf on Monday shared cigarettes and childhood stories with a group of fans who hunted him down in Colorado after the actor launched an initiative that allows anyone to track him down and take him anywhere.
The Transformers star, who has pledged to do almost anything at a stranger’s whim, had just launched his #TakeMeAnywhere campaign—an art project in which he and two other companions tweet out their GPS coordinates and agree to go wherever the fans who find him suggest. LaBeouf told Vice the project was about “making friends” and “finding meaning” in life.
Five fans immediately took him up on his offer and got a free lunch at Oskar Blues, a microbrewery in Lyons, Colorado, where the actor began his 30-day quest. Here are some of the most interesting things LaBeouf said during the meeting:
His dad used to juggle chickens for a living
LaBeouf told the table his father was a circus clown who juggled trained chickens, according to Brandon Glanton, one of the fans who hightailed it on a nearly two-hour drive to meet the actor. At least one of the birds could jump through a hoop of fire, the 26-year-old fan said.
“He was talking about his upbringing and how he was raised by a single mother,” said Glanton, who is an artist and musician from Denver. “To have everyone sitting down there, having lunch with him, it was so cool that he was so receiving. He was more humble than you can ever imagine.”
He kept referring to himself as a mirror
LaBeouf constantly compared himself to a mirror in explaining part of his philosophy behind the unconventional social experiment.
“He kept referring to himself as a mirror,” Glanton said. “He was saying that if he’s a mirror that puts out good, then good will reflect back to him.” That’s also part of the reason the Hollywood star believes he won’t be attacked during the intimate project, his fans said.
LaBeouf acknowledged that he could get hurt during the project, but he’s not concerned. “He said, ‘I just don’t think that’s going to happen,’” said Daniel Rachlitz, 25, a professional cinematographer in Denver, who was also part of the group. “He said people could be violent or crazy, but he’s not worried about it.”
He asked not to be poisoned
The actor appeared open to trying anything as part of his project, which allows the first person or group to arrive at his coordinates to stay with him for an endless amount of time until they “release him,” Rachlitz said. But he had one rule. “He said we can’t make him eat rat poison,” Rachlitz said with a laugh.
He was scared to go skydiving
The first group to meet him at Oskar Blues said they wanted to take LaBeouf skydiving, although it’s unclear if the star followed through. His publicist did not immediately return a request for comment Tuesday. “He said he was really scared,” Glanton said, “but he said he didn’t have a choice.”
LaBeouf drank coffee the entire time (instead of alcohol), although he bought several rounds of beer for the rest of the group, his fans said. He also ordered enchiladas and made everyone eat sweet potato fries, Rachlitz said.
“Sometimes when you meet your heroes, you’re disappointed when you meet them, but not Shia,” Rachlitz said. “He was just an amazing guy. He was so receptive and conversational. I think he’s a true artist.”