The entertainment world has adapted to the coronavirus pandemic by using a basic rehearsal tool for shows in production as an easy way to give their audience an oddly intimate form of entertainment: The table read.
It’s normally just actors doing a first read of a new script but established A-listers have been doing readings of iconic movies for charity and it’s incredible fun. The Fast Times at Ridgemont High table read featuring stars like Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston, Julia Roberts, Morgan Freeman, Matthew McConaughey, Dane Cook—who organized the read—John Legend, original Spicoli Sean Penn, and Shia LaBeouf playing Spicoli is just the most recent example.
Thanks to Shia LaBeouf it may be the best example so far, too, because he absolutely stole the show as Spicoli, to the point where even his co-stars—especially original Spicoli Sean Penn—found it impossible to keep a straight face.
The Fast Times virtual table read was to raise money for CORE—a Community Organized Relief Effort aimed at fighting the spread of COVID-19—and the REFORM Alliance, which aims “to dramatically reduce the number of people who are unjustly under the control of the criminal justice system.”
Something like this is pretty much guaranteed to have some viral moments and the infamously steamy scene in which Brad Hamilton (here played by Pitt, originally played by Judge Reinhold), uh, watches Linda Barrett (Phoebe Cates in the movie, read here by Jennifer Aniston) as she exits a pool in a red bikini went viral right away, as the two once dated. That Morgan Freeman was reading the scene direction helped.
Really, though, it ended up being Shia LaBeouf’s show because his Spicoli was comedy genius. You can watch the whole thing in the Youtube video embedded above. Check out some tweeted clips and commentary on LaBeouf’s turn as the iconic stoner below.
Damn, remake the actual movie with Shia in the role. Sean Penn was 22 when he played the high school stoner and LaBeouf is 34—but actors being way too old for the character they play never stopped Hollywood before.