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THE COMPANY YOU KEEP

Shia LaBeouf -- Ben Shepard
Shia LaBeouf came to international prominence thanks largely to his roles in Steven Spielberg's Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and the immensely popular Transformers film series. With THE COMPANY YOU KEEP, the actor saw a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with Robert Redford, along with an incredible role in Ben Shepard.

"When I read the script, I saw Ben as an idealist," says LaBeouf. "I looked at Redford and Dustin Hoffman in All the President's Men (Alan J. Pakula's 1976 film on the Watergate scandal); there was a bit of both of them there. To me, Ben was an amalgamation of those two men. I pitched that idea to Bob and he was very comfortable with it."

"Still, Ben's a complex character and, admittedly, a bit of a fame-whore too," says LaBeouf, with a smile. "In a sense, he's living in a turtle shell. He's all about him. He's all about making that turtle shell bigger -- and it's all self-propelled insanity, really. He's all about getting famous for being the best reporter in the world and he's got the story... But at the same time his life doesn't have a lot of love in it. He's in solitude. He's the kind of guy who googles himself every night for self validation. Ben is like that, and then he finds a woman like he's never known and he chases that dream in the midst."

"In the story I meet Shia's character who's a reporter and I'm guarded; I don't exactly trust him," says Brit Marling, who plays Rebecca Osborne, of their relationship on screen. "And then we sort of get to know one another and it turns out I may have a right to be guarded."

"It's a very political movie, but it's also just very fundamentally human," Marling continues. "I don't think it works to make a movie that's just about politics, because movies are ultimately about moving people. When you talk about politics, but it's buried within a human story, the audience is more willing to open up and let those ideas in along with the emotions."

Ultimately for LaBeouf, there was also the attraction of playing a role unlike any he's done before. "I'm playing the antagonist for the first time, which is really fun for me," says the young star. "It's sexy as hell to do that. And for the protagonist to be Robert Redford is really wild for me. To be on the same poster as Robert Redford is really wild for me... Throw in that cast that we had, those really amazing actors who brought so much cool stuff to the table and really fleshed out the script -- it was just an amazing ride. "

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