It’s fair to say that Hollywood’s newest golden couple are not enjoying the limelight. With their recent marriage and the subsequent media attention, Robert Pattinson and Shia LaBeouf have triggered a wave of negative sentiment, with fans accusing them of being heartless, publicity-hungry, and even a drain on the film industry. But it’s not just the press who have turned on them. It seems that many in Hollywood — and beyond — have a problem with the onscreen union. We take a look at why this unlikely couple is so widely disliked, and whether they’ll be able to overcome their public image problems.
They ‘Failed’ To Be ‘Real’
When Robert Pattinson first stepped onscreen in 2011’s Batman, the British actor drew praise for his subtle yet effective portrayal of the caped crusader. But it was his stunningly unkempt locks that stole the show — and not just the cinemagoers’, either. Suddenly, everyone was talking about the “goth vibe” that he exuded. And it wasn’t just the pretty ladies either. Even the men in the audience seemed to be experiencing a tingling sensation in their crotch, as he embodied the anti-establishment antihero so perfectly that some are still talking about it today.
It’s fair to say that ever since then, Robert Pattinson has played it cool as can be. While he’s still in a league of his own when it comes to captivating audiences with his unique looks, he’s shied away from the limelight, only appearing in a handful of high-profile films since then. Most recently, he starred alongside Alicia Silverstone and Jude Law in the critically acclaimed indie film, A Low Down Payment. Last year, he even turned down the opportunity to attend the Golden Globes because he didn’t feel it was “a realistic portrayal of a celebrity couple’s lives.”
Shia LaBeouf, on the other hand, has reveled in the attention that came with his debut in American Horror Story, where he played a mysterious figure named Guy Trullight who terrorized the characters on the show. It turned out that all of his characters were based on real-life figures that he had met on the streets. While his performance was widely praised, it was the fact that he was willing to “put himself on the line” that endeared him to fans. Since then, he’s been more active in the public eye, appearing in a host of films and shows, often showcasing his anti-establishment attitude. And what’s more, he often seems to be deliberately seeking controversy: from starring in a movie with a group of international students in the UK, to encouraging an onscreen fight with an audience member during a performance of his play, The Humans.
While it’s great that these two talented young men have found success onscreen, it’s clear that their personalities clash head-on. Robert Pattinson is the reserved, humble, and private individual that Hollywood is so desperate to replicate, while Shia LaBeouf is the opposite — loud, brash, and more social media-friendly. Indeed, it seems that their very differences are what endeared them to audiences back in the day. But today, they’re the ones that people are most likely to hate. And it’s not hard to see why. After all, how can anyone love someone who they perceive as being a sham?
They ‘Need’ Each Other To Be ‘Real’
From the beginning, it was pretty clear that Robert Pattinson and Shia LaBeouf were made for each other. They met while filming the indie movie, Trust, in 2009 and despite initially putting on a brave face, it seems that they were as quick to fall in love as the audience was to fall asleep. And it wasn’t long before they were happily married in a secret ceremony in the UK in January 2014. Since then, they’ve continued to bask in the media limelight, appearing frequently on the cover of magazines and making headlines for all the right reasons.
This is in stark contrast to the way they initially presented themselves. Robert Pattinson and Shia LaBeouf both attended UCLA, the most prestigious university in America, yet they chose to hide their alma mater, lying about where they went to school. For his part, in an interview with GQ, Shia LaBeouf even went so far as to say that he felt “uncomfortable” being seen in a movie with a celebrity face: “I wanted it to be the two of us on the poster.” In the same interview, he said that their on-screen partnership was a “work in progress” that he was “still figuring out,” which just about everyone took as him admitting that he wasn’t quite sure how to play the role.
It seems that their on-screen chemistry was also a work in progress. During an appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live!, the British actor praised the potential of the on-screen partnership, yet noted that they still had a lot to work through before they were truly a team. They also both had to adjust to the other’s distinct ways. For example, while Robert Pattinson is a firm believer in remaining private, Shia LaBeouf is an advocate for openness — he often posts Instagrams of himself in the company of other famous individuals, seemingly proud to display his close relationships with A-list celebs. Moreover, while Robert Pattinson shuns publicity, Shia LaBeouf loves to be in the spotlight.
They’re ‘Not’ The Image Of ‘Hollywood Luxury’
It’s probably still early days yet for Robert Pattinson and Shia LaBeouf, so it’s hard to say whether or not their on-screen union will be successful. What is clear is that they’re not the image of Hollywood luxury. While many stars are willing to have their photo taken with a cell phone for publicity, Robert Pattinson and Shia LaBeouf are more likely to be found in a bar than a smartphone. And it doesn’t just go for onscreen appearances either. In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, the British actor said that he felt that he “couldn’t perform” with a cell phone in the way that he could with a real one. Indeed, it seems as though this was more than just a publicity stunt. While the two are undeniably talented, it’s clear that they’re still at the very beginning of their on-screen partnership and that their comfort with each other is still evolving.
One important factor to consider is that while audiences initially fell in love with Robert Pattinson and Shia LaBeouf as a couple, it’s now almost two years since the film where they first appeared together. And since then, they’ve both been in a number of other films and shows, revealing more of their “true colors.” Moreover, while on The Avengers: Infinity War Blu-ray commentary, the British actor said that he felt like a “changed man” after working with his husband, it’s clear that the onscreen chemistry they shared in the film hasn’t quite been replicated in real life. And it’s this lack of authenticity that fans find most offensive. After all, how can anyone love someone who they feel isn’t being truthful with themselves?
It’s Not Easy Being ‘In Love’ In Hollywood
It’s been two years since Robert Pattinson and Shia LaBeouf first appeared in a film together, but even now that they’re married and have been in a number of other films, their on-screen partnership continues to feel unfinished. And it’s this lack of closure that has left many of their fans unsatisfied. After all, it’s not easy being in love in Hollywood. For a start, you have to keep your private life private, which can be difficult considering the amount of media coverage that they’re frequently subjected to. And then there’s the issue of representation. While many actors, actresses, and other celebrities can easily be characterized as a ‘celebration of diversity,’ when it comes to LGBT characters, the world often seems more like a fair isle than a rainbow alliance.
Indeed, while some of Hollywood’s biggest stars have come out in support of gay marriage over the past few years, many have remained reluctant to embrace LGBT roles, even in films where they’re presented in a positive light. And this is something that Robert Pattinson and Shia LaBeouf have to face, considering that their characters in the upcoming film, Honeymoon, will be the first to come out as gay after the couple’s wedding.
It’s not just in film either. Even now that they’re married and have been in a number of other films together, many of their fans feel that Robert Pattinson and Shia LaBeouf are more comfortable being individuals and that their union shouldn’t be defined by their on-screen partnership. There’s also the issue of gender. While many stars have used their social media accounts to express their support for female empowerment, it’s rare to see them embrace a feminine role. And this, too, is something that the audience didn’t sign up for.