James Franco penned a lengthy article for the New York Times about Shia LaBeouf's bizarre behavior, and he says he's willing to take an "empathetic view" on the situation, as he understands where the Transformers star is coming from.

In the piece, titled "Why Actors Act Out," James throws around names like Marlon Brando and Joaquin Phoenix and explains how serious thespians often feel the need to break away from the identity they've created for themselves. Still, he isn't that close to Shia, as evident from his remark that "this behavior could be a sign of many things, from a nervous breakdown to mere youthful recklessness."

James continues, "Any artist, regardless of his field, can experience distance between his true self and his public persona. But because film actors typically experience fame in greater measure, our personas can feel at the mercy of forces far beyond our control. Our rebellion against the hand that feeds us can instigate a frenzy of commentary that sets in motion a feedback loop: acting out, followed by negative publicity, followed by acting out in response to that publicity, followed by more publicity, and so on." Oh, those poor film actors! We feel so bad that they're forced to jet all over the world to make and promote movies while being paid more than most of us will see in a lifetime...

"Mr. LaBeouf has been acting since he was a child, and often an actors need to tear down the public creation that constrains him occurs during the transition from young man to adult," James concluded. "I think Mr. LaBeoufs project, if it is a project, is a worthy one. I just hope that he is careful not to use up all the good will he has gained as an actor in order to show us that he is an artist."

We're not anti-Shia, especially after meeting him at his #IAMSORRY art show the other day, but do you agree with James?

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