Alec Baldwin vs. Shia LaBeouf

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IN THIS CORNER: GRAHAM HAWORTH

Ah yes, there’s nothing quite like a celebrity kerfuffle. I mean, who doesn’t want to read about rich actors trading verbal and Twitter barbs like a couple of immature 15-year-olds? The latest celebrity shouting match pits Shia LBeouf against Alec Baldwin. The two recently began rehearsals for a Broadway play, “Orphans,” and let’s just say, there was a slight personality conflict between the two actors, so LaBeouf decided to leave the production.

If it had only stopped there, none of us would’ve ever heard a peep more. But no, Mr. LaBeouf, in his infinite wisdom, decided to tweet emails between himself and Baldwin, and himself and the director; these emails are not very flattering to Baldwin, but c’mon, we already know he’s a bit of a dick. This is a guy who left a voicemail for his 11-year-old daughter calling her a “rude, thoughtless pig.”

But I digress. What could possibly be LaBeouf’s goal in making public a series of private emails that suggest Baldwin wasn’t quite prepared on the first day of rehearsals, other than to cover his own ass and make himself look like the good guy? Tweeting these emails is only slightly less childish than Taylor Swift recording a break-up song about her latest celebrity boyfriend who gave her crabs. (OK, I made that last part up.)

To me, this smacks of LaBeouf’s fragile yet overblown ego. I’ve seen the Transformers movies. I saw Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, although I wish I could have those two hours of my life back. LaBeouf, you’re not that great. In fact, you’re quite mediocre. I don’t care if you call yourself a method actor (somewhere, Robert DeNiro is laughing his ass off). I don’t care that, in the latest movie you filmed, you actually had real sex on screen with your 18-year-old co-star. And then promptly dumped your girlfriend for said 18-year-old co-star. Your pretty face and your weird name have gotten you this far, not your talent.

Baldwin, on the other hand, has “Flatliners” on his resume (oh wait, that was the handsome William Baldwin…. oh well, I’m sure Alec coached him on his performance….) along with iconic late ’80s flicks “Beetlejuice” and “The Hunt for Red October.” “30 Rock” is one of the top 5 sitcoms of all time, in my humble opinion. He’s hosted SNL 1,200 times, and he’s fucking hilarious each and every time. He’s the king of the Baldwin clan, although I miss Stephen (and apparently, William too…)

LaBeouf, when you can claim 30 years of acting experience and still find yourself relevant in the entertainment world, after two or three comebacks, as Mr. Baldwin can claim, then maybe we can talk. Until then, keep your mouth shut, LaBeouf!

Verdict: Shia LaBeouf is BADPOP

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IN THIS CORNER: LAURA BUCKINGHAM

Look, let’s be realistic here. Neither of these guys has a stellar track record when it comes to being media/paparazzi/journalist/girlfriend/wife/daughter/whomever-friendly. But they are both good actors.  Yes, I said BOTH. Sure, you probably only think of Shia LaBeouf as the dude from “Transformers” and the guy who screwed up the Indiana Jones franchise (get over it, people!)…and I get it – but how can one truly exercise their acting chops while running from CGI robots and crystal-skulled aliens?

The reality is that Shia LaBeouf is an accomplished actor with much more range than he’s given credit for. Two prime examples would be his roles in “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints” and “The Greatest Game Ever Played.”  These are both great movies with impressive acting by LaBeouf.  Not to mention his role in the Disney Channel’s “Even Stevens” – which showed genuine comedic talent and earned him a Daytime Emmy at the tender age of 17.

But that’s not the issue here – the question is whether Shia LaBeouf proved himself to be the ultimate douchebag by tweeting private emails sent between his director and “Orphans” castmates.  In retrospect, sure, he might cringe at that decision one day, but how would you feel if every media outlet was defending the more well-known and respected actor (Baldwin) even if Baldwin was the one who was clearly unprepared and difficult. Aren’t actors supposed to read the script and know their lines BEFORE they come to rehearsal?

Alec Baldwin just skates along and gets away with his bullshit tantrums because, well, he’s Alec Baldwin. I give LaBeouf credit for stepping up and showing that he’s not just a “celebrity chef” like Baldwin so cleverly (not so much) stated. Sounds like Baldwin’s just a little bit jealous of LaBeouf’s talent and commitment – oh, and that little thing called actually knowing your own lines.

Verdict: Shia LaBeouf is GOODPOP

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