Sep 24, 2009
Everything but the girl
My friend Nick Hornby has asked me along to the New York premiere of his movie, An Education, so naturally my thoughts turn to what on earth I am going to say to Shia La Beouf, should I run into him. If he's going. He's dating the film's star, Cary Mulligan, on whom I nurse something of a crush, according to my wife. She says she saw my face go all woozy when I watched an interview with her on TV. I denied any wooziness as if my life depended on it, but a bit of me is quite happy to have her think I am smitten with Mulligan. It's a handy disguise for my Shia La Beouf obsession. Not only is he a plucky actor, with Di Caprioish self-possession, but he also helped out with the writing of my novel. I don't mean personally. He didn't type it up for me or anything. But there was a moment when I was getting into a bit of mess with the romance. I didn't know whether my hero deserved my heroine. I doubted the good faith of his feelings. Then I happened to catch Disturbia on pay-per-view, and saw the scene where Shia LeBoeuf first catches sight of his love interest, in the garden of his neighbour. The look on his face is fantastic: you just know that everything but the girl has just disappeared completely from his field of vision. He's like a dog hearing a dog-whistle: nothing else even exists. It's a puppy-love version of Dante-and-Beatrice, even though, strictly, he's actually spying on her. And I thought to myself: that's what I'm going for. That's what I want.