It’s been a huge summer for you thanks to Transformers. How has your life changed?
I lead a pretty modest life. I drive a Nissan, live in a two-bedroom flat, go to Dodgers’ games. My life is pretty normal outside of this. I’m sure it’s going to change and I’ll deal with it when it comes. I’m not nervous about it, though. I’m pretty grounded. My life is stable.
The buzz around you gets bigger month by month, especially now you’re playing Indiana Jones’s son. Has it sunk in?
No, because I’m reclusive. I don’t hang out in crowds or in places where that would be perpetuated at all. I’ve had the same friends my whole life and, if I’m not with those people, I’m usually working.
Why did you do Disturbia?
Steven Spielberg was involved, so I knew it wasn’t going to be the normal teen thriller, which I definitely wouldn’t have signed on to. The best thrillers are the ones like Psycho. Hitchcock left enough room for your imagination to completely mind-f**k you and that was the scariest thing.
Your character is under house arrest in the film. How would you handle that in real life?
If I was 18 or 19 and under house arrest for real, like my character, I’d probably be masturbating a lot. Why not? I’d also be watching a lot of movies. I’m a total film junkie.
Are teens getting more isolated nowadays, with e-mailing and texting replacing actual talking?
Sure. The initial idea for cell phones was ‘this is something we’ll create so humans can talk to each other more’. Now it’s got to the level where you have the cyborg earpiece. No conversation is that important, seriously. I hate those things.
I’m extremely competitive at the audition process but then I’m competitive at everything.
You’re also a voyeur in Disturbia. What classic voyeur films do you like?
I love Rear Window. People have compared Disturbia to Rear Window. They might have similar plot lines but they are not the same movie by any means. Anyway, we are all voyeurs. If you read any kind of celebrity magazine or have a MySpace or Facebook page, or watch reality shows, you’re a voyeur.
Are you a fan of reality shows?
I love them. My favourite is a show called Intervention. They take these drug addicts and have interventions with them. It’s super-dramatic and wild.
What are you hoping to do with your career?
It’s all about change and diversity. If people don’t get bored with you then you’re safe. You have to put yourself out there sometimes and do something really crazy. It might not quite work but that’s OK. You watch some of Johnny Depp’s movies and not all of them work – but the fact he put his neck out and had the balls to try something new is enough. Sometimes, a movie comes around that’s good but just too similar to something you’ve done before. Even if it’s a good film with good actors involved, you can’t do it because it’s too similar to something else.
They asked me to play Allen Ginsberg in the film of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road. Now for me, my family and my lineage – my grandmother was a beatnik lesbian poet in the 1950s – that was right up my alley but he was too similar to the character I played in Bobby. Sometimes it’s tough. Playing Ginsberg would have been wild.
How competitive are you as an actor?
I’m extremely competitive at the audition process but then I’m competitive at everything. That’s my youth. It’s a stupid thing but it fuels me sometimes.
You’re quite unusual in being a young guy who reads books.
I have to read. It’s my job. Lots of people don’t even read actual books. They download them on their iPod and listen to them.
Are you into technology?
I have an Apple computer and I’m big on the Internet. Big on the cell phone. I’m not a technological wizard, though.
Is being Hollywood’s ‘It guy’ helping with the opposite sex?
I’ve been with the same girl for a long time. I’m not competitive in that realm. It’s extremely helpful. There’s stability in your life and you don’t focus on it the same way you would if you were lonely and that was fuelling your every move. That’s not happening in my life.
Do you feel like the luckiest guy in the business?
I just feel that I’m fortunate enough to be working and that’s really as far as it goes.
*Now except love is blind as well as deaf, I doubt he was dating Rihanna during her "Pon de Replay/I don't wanna be a murder " phase. Sometimes I like him, sometimes I don't but, I really wanted him to go out with Rihanna cos they would have been so cute together.