Mel Gibson spoke out about Shia LaBeouf’s public struggles with celebrity, saying he pities the young actor.

Mel Gibson On His Troubled Past

LaBeouf has been plagued by bad press in recent years, culminating in his June arrest and treatment for alcohol addiction. Gibson, of course, can relate. In 2006 Gibson went on an anti-Semitic rant when he was arrested for a DUI, and his career suffered greatly. Later, in 2010, a tape of Gibson’s angry tirade aimed at his estranged girlfriend Oksana Grigorieva was leaked, again damaging his career for years.

“You’re a target. And you have to be really adept at tap dancing and dodging the bullets. And sometimes you get hit. Sometimes mortally,” Gibson told IndieWire.

Mel Gibson On Shia LaBeouf

He then commented on LaBeouf’s response to the public lashing he received after it was revealed that he plagiarized his short-film. After the scandal came out in February, LaBeouf walked the red carpet at the Berlin Film Festival wearing a paper bag over his head that said “I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE.”

“When I see someone like Shia LaBeouf with the bag on his head and stuff, my heart goes out to the poor guy. I think he’s suffering in some way…Why would he do that? People are in line to sort of point the finger at him and say that he’s this, that, or the other. It’s easy to judge. But I’m sure he’s going through some kind of personal, very painful, cathartic thing that he has to exorcise and get out there,” Gibson said, clearly sympathizing with the younger actor.

Gibson, whose career, albeit not as promising as it once was, is still alive and well, went on to say that he hopes LaBeouf comes out of this rough patch and continues to have a successful career in the future.

“He’ll probably play it out and come back…He’ll be all right. I actually like the kid. I think he’s good,” Gibson added.

Gibson is not the first celebrity to come out in defense of LaBeouf. Following LaBeouf’s public stunt at the Berlin Film Festival, James Franco published a very sympathetic op-ed in The New York Times on the controversy. Franco did not defend LaBeouf’s actions, but he did express concern for how quick the press vilified LaBeouf.

“Though the wisdom of some of his actions may seem questionable, as an actor and artist I’m inclined to take an empathetic view of his conduct,” Franco wrote.

Franco went on to say that LaBeouf’s actions could be a sign of “a nervous breakdown” or “mere youthful recklessness.”

LaBeouf will next be seen co-starring in Fury alongside Brad Pitt, opening November 14, 2014.


More on Mel Gibson and Shia LaBeouf:

> Shia LaBeouf Hits The Gym In Lakers T-Shirt, Aims For Healthier Lifestyle

> Shia LaBeouf Receiving Voluntary Treatment For Alcohol Addiction, Not In Rehab

> Shia LaBeouf Arrested On Broadway: Actor Lit Cigarette During 'Cabaret' Performance At Studio 54

> Mel Gibson: Journalist Asks Hollywood To Remove Him From Blacklist

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