Shia LaBeouf is playing a cholo gangster named Creeper in the new film Tax Collector.
So in the age of concepts like cultural appropriation, along with the increasing rate of actors passing on and resigning from roles that feature characters with a different ethnicity or race than they are, you would think this was a bad idea for the not-Chicano (or even Latino) LaBeouf. And while a negative backlash is sure to come at some degree, just as many folks are waiting to pass judgment.
Working for LaBeouf’s case, is that he went so deep on the method acting route that he got his entire chest tattooed (for real) for this role. That, and the fact he spent a lot of time with actual, former East L.A. gang members, LaBeouf’s dedication to his craft is on full display.
The plot of Tax Collector goes like this: David (Bobby Soto) and Creeper (LaBeouf), are “tax collectors” for the crime lord Wizard, who collects his cut from the profits of local gangs illicit dealings. But when Wizard’s old rival returns to Los Angeles from Mexico, the business is upended, and David finds himself desperate to protect what matters more to him than anything else: his family.
The film has a gritty look and feel to it, and you can thank “it” director of the moment, David Ayer (End of Watch, Suicide Squad) for that.
I have interviews lined up with some of the cast coming soon, and you’ll be able to catch them all right here on LATV.
Here’s a conversation about race we had on The Hub on LATV