Actor Shia LaBeouf is hoping his newfound Hollywood success will allow him to pay a movie tribute to his hero--a suicidal, drug-addicted rapper.
The 21-year-old, who is best known for recent blockbuster Transformers and upcoming sequel Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, wants to star in a biopic about controversial hip-hop star Cage.
Cage, real name Chris Palko, has been rapping since the mid-'90s, but his personal problems have eclipsed his career--he has endured a battle with hard drugs, attempted suicide and even spent time in a psychiatric ward.
And longtime fan LaBeouf, whom Cage allowed to film his 2006 tour for a documentary, wants to bring the controversial star's life to the big screen,
He says, "I have been listening to Cage since I got into hip-hop when I was 12. I grew up on the west coast listening to a lot of 2Pac and Eazy-E, so when I found out that Cage was white, it was incredible. I'd never heard anything like that."
LaBeouf admits starring in a Cage biopic is his dream project, comparing his resolve to get the film off the ground to Robert De Niro's determination to play boxer Jake La Motta in 1980's Raging Bull.
He adds, "It's kind of like how no matter what film De Niro was making, he was always ready to pull Raging Bull out of his back pocket. Cage is my Jake LaMotta."