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An Interview With The Bag On Shia LaBeouf's Head

Shia LaBeouf attends the 'Nymphomaniac' premiere during 64th Berlinale International Film Festival Sunday.
Clemens Bilan
Getty Images
Shia LaBeouf attends the 'Nymphomaniac' premiere during 64th Berlinale International Film Festival Sunday.

This is the second in a very occasional series of posts in which we interview inanimate objects during fever dreams. This particular interview is with a paper bag that actor Shia LaBeouf put over his head during the premiere of Lars Von Trier's Nymphomaniac: Volume I at the Berlin International Film Festival.

What's that written on you?



I didn't write it.

No, I know. I'm just ... I'm thinking about it. It's perplexing.

You're telling me. You get to get up and leave this interview and never think about me again. This is permanent marker. Permanent.

So the intent is not to attract attention?

You're asking about the intent? I'm a bag. Ask me a bag question.

Oh. Sure. So ... how long have you been a bag?

Are you serious? This is your question? Why am I even here?

No, no, no. Sorry. So what were you doing before the film festival?

I was folded up, Cronkite.

Oh. Right. Okay. Well, was it fun being part of the festival?

It was ... well, I don't want to get philosophical.

That's okay. That's okay. Everybody wants to know how you feel.

The thing is, it's not what I was made for, you know? A bag, you know, its true purpose is to hold things. And I'm sort of a special bag; I'm a little bigger than a lunch bag, or what we call a "peewee," and I'm smaller than a big grocery bag, which we call a "venti." I'm right there in the middle. I'm good for takeout, I'm good for, like, picking up a few groceries on the way home. What I am not made for is being part of some actor's publicity stunt.

Gee ... that's sort of sad.

And he cut holes. He cut holes in my side. He cut holes for his little eyes, and he wrote all over me — I can see it when I look in a mirror — and now I'm ruined for actually holding anything. I can no longer do bag work. I'm like some kind of monster.

Do you talk to your friends about it?

I don't have a lot of friends. I'm in a dumpster right now.

Oh my gosh, are you okay?

It smells.

Can I ... do you need me to contact your family and tell them where you are?

You don't want to talk to them.

Why not?

My mother's an old bag.


That was a joke.

Oh, oh, right. Sure.

See? I'm funny. I can do comedy. I'm wasted sitting here in this dumpster with writing all over me. That dude, I swear.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Linda Holmes is a pop culture correspondent for NPR and the host of Pop Culture Happy Hour. She began her professional life as an attorney. In time, however, her affection for writing, popular culture, and the online universe eclipsed her legal ambitions. She shoved her law degree in the back of the closet, gave its living room space to DVD sets of The Wire, and never looked back.

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