During an interview/e-mail exchange with Dazed and Confused magazine, The Fury star opened up about what went down during the performance art exhibit, in which he encouraged attendees to sit down with him one-on-one inside of a room.
Before they did, they were encouraged to pick up items from a table, including a whip, Hershey's kisses, a ukulele, a bottle of cologne and more, and bring it into the room with them. When they entered, Shia was sitting in the room wearing a suit and a bag over his head that read, "I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE."
Shia told the mag things took a turn when one particular woman arrived, saying, "One woman who came with her boyfriend, who was outside the door when this happened, whipped my legs for ten minutes and then stripped my clothing and proceeded to rape me...there were hundreds of people in line when she walked out with disheveled hair and smudged lipstick. It was no good, not just for me but her man as well."
Shia's girlfriend was also especially hurt, considering she was standing in line to view the exhibition when that went down.
"It was Valentine's Day and I was living in the gallery for the duration of the event – we were separated for five days, no communication," he continued. "So it really hurt her as well, as I guess the news of it traveled through the line. When she came in she asked for an explanation, and I couldn't speak, so we both sat with this unexplained trauma silently. It was painful."
Aside from that incident, Shia said there were people who he connected with throughout the process, adding, "Almost everyone who came in had preconceived notions of what they were going to experience, and as soon as Nastja Rönkkö brought them through the curtain, everything changed. I went from being a celebrity or object to a fellow human."
"I was genuinely remorseful. It wasn't manipulation, I was heartbroken," he continued. "People I've never met before came in and loved on me and with me. Some would hold my hand and cry with me, some would tell me to 'figure it out' or to 'be a man'. I've never experienced love like that; empathy, humanity." The actor said he feels like he's finding himself through his projects, adding, "I'm exploring."
Shia's interview with Dazed and Confused was anything but the norm. The actor insisted that they talk only online, and meet in person afterwards without speaking. So, the writer, Aimee Cliff, and Shia met up in London in a hotel room with GoPros strapped to their heads, and stared at each other for an hour.
He wanted that to be considered "the interview" with the words that they said to each other only online.