Lawless: Shia LaBeouf on Cast Changes and Being a Fan of Tom Hardy in Bronson
08.29.12 by BrentJS
Award-winning Australian director John Hillcoat's (The Road) new period crime movie, Lawless, finally opens in theaters today after a protracted production that was very nearly shut down for good. Shia LaBeouf (Transformers trilogy), attracted by Hillcoat's description of the Depression-era bootlegging movie as akin to "Goodfellas in the woods," was one of the first cast members and the only original cast member to make it into the final film. But, rather than being bothered by the delays and cast changes, LaBeouf revealed to Hollywood Dailies that he was actually thrilled that the cast evolved the way that it did because it allowed him to work with Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises), who he has been dying to work with since seeing the British actor in the 2008 fictionalized biopic Bronson. Click on the video above to find out which A-list actors almost appeared in Lawless and to hear what LaBeouf did after watching Bronson for the firs time.
Lawless was written by frequent Hillcoat collaborator, Nick Cave (The Proposition), who also scored the movie. The movie is based on Matt Bondurant's novel The Wettest County in the World, which details his family's background as bootleggers in rural Virginia. Here's the synopsis:
At the height of Prohibition, ambitious country boy Jack Bondurant (LaBeouf) dreams of becoming "Public Enemy #1" while reaping all the benefits that go with the gangster lifestyle. By expanding his family's moonshining business, he plots to launch a vast criminal empire while winning the heart of beautiful Amish girl Bertha (Mia Wasikowska). With his older, intimidating brother Howard (Jason Clarke) by his side, Jack has the brawn to get the job done, too. But they need a strong leader to guide them — a responsibility that falls on their eldest sibling Forrest (Hardy). Stoic and stalwart, Forrest is the kind of man who holds his cards close, and places a high value on character. Meanwhile, as the three siblings rise to power while battling treachery on both sides of the law, a mysterious woman named Maggie (Jessica Chastain) appears out of nowhere, prompting the thoughtful Forrest to question the true price of his outlaw ways.
Lawless also stars Academy Award-winner Gary Oldman as gangster Floyd Banner and Guy Pearce Chicago law dog Charles Rakes.