It’s not only awkward to dance with an older man dressed in a skin-colored suit, it’s also very challenging for 12-year -old Maddie Ziegler who had to endure a tough shoot for the video of “Elastic Heart” with a method actor like Shia LaBeouf. In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, Zeigler revealed how she had to really bite deep into LaBeouf’s dirty hands to please the team behind the hit music video.
“Every time in between takes they would say, ‘You need to be more aggressive. You need to bite him harder. You need to slap him harder,'” Ziegler recalled.
Sia and frequent collaborator Daniel Askill had to convince the Dance Moms star to go outside her comfort zone. What started out as a challenge became a hard lesson about method acting for Ziegler.
“Shia kept saying, ‘No, you need to hit me as a hard as you can. It’s not real until you hit me as hard as you can.'”
With the insistence of his co-actor, Ziegler eventually gave in to the challenge. Yes, that bite was real. “It was gross because we were dirty and I had to bite his dirty hands,” the young modern dancer said. She insisted LaBeouf to use the wipes that she handed out to him. At first, the controversial actor said that he didn’t need the wipes, but he caved in when his partner confronted him.
“He actually listened to me,” Zeigler said. “I was like, ‘I’m sorry, but you’re kind of dirty.'”
Even though things were intense when they started the shoot, the two dancers learned how to finally find their footing. Ziegler also revealed the story behind the video during the interview. “I’m supposed to be portraying a werewolf and pretty much Shia and I have been just living in the cage for a year and I’m the strong one and I’m trying to pretty much kill him,” she explained.
Shortly after the video was released, a few thought that the pairing of Ziegler and LaBeouf was ill-conceived. Sia made a statement on Twitter apologizing for those who were distressed after seeing a young girl perform with a much older man.
I anticipated some ‘pedophelia!!!’ Cries for this video. All I can say is Maddie and Shia are two of the only actors I felt could play
— sia (@Sia) January 8, 2015
For Ziegler, it’s just all in a day’s work. From Dance Moms to starring in a massively popular video, the 12-year-old reality TV star just takes everything as it is.
“I’ve never danced with a much older guy like that before — and it wasn’t like we were actually dancing together because we were fighting each other. We were battling.”
[Image via YouTube]