Shia LaBeouf slapped a fan in the face Friday – but it’s not what you think.
The quirky star participated in his latest offbeat performance art piece Friday at Oxford University, and only resorted to (mild) violence after a fan nearly begged him for it.
The actor, 29, spent 24 hours in an Oxford elevator after the student union asked him to give a talk to the esteemed university on Saturday, according to The New York Times. In addition to the talk, he also chose to hole up inside a cramped elevator on Friday, where fans had the opportunity to line up to spend a few minutes chatting with the star in the enclosed space.
The project, branded with the hashtag #ELEVATE, was broadcast via a YouTube livestream, and things got weird when a freshman entered the elevator and presented the Transformers star with an unusual request.
“Can you help me with the completion of my next piece by punching me in the face?” said the student, who claimed to be a fellow performance artist.
LaBeouf did not seem eager to comply.
“Aww, man. You want me to punch you in the face?” he said.
The student then offered to give LaBeouf his hat for the big moment, and the star replied that “I don’t want to punch you very hard.”
When the actor still didn’t launch his fist, the student responded with “Do it. Don’t be a p—y,” as the group inside the elevator exploded into giggles.
When LaBeouf continued to hesitate, the student suggested, “Alright, slap then at least.”
Finally, after the star protested a bit more, a slap can be heard in the audio.
Afterwards, the student told Cherwell, Oxford’s student-run newspaper, that he decided to ask LaBeouf to hit him because he thought the star might be “bored.”
This is far from the first time the eccentric actor has participated in unusual projects in the name of art. Last fall, he watched every film he starred in, for a project dubbed #ALLMYMOVIES, as fans tracked his reactions to them on a livestream.
Last February, he also participated in #IAMSORRY, which had him sitting silently in a Los Angeles galley, a paper bag over his head.