Spring Breakers star James Franco has insisted that he is concerned by fellow former child star Shia LaBeouf's behaviour, but he admits that he can understand the pressures the troubled actor faces.

In an opinion piece, titled Why Actors Act Out, for the New York Times, Franco wrote: "Though the wisdom of some of his actions may seem questionable, as an actor and artist I'm inclined to take an empathetic view of his conduct.

"This behavior could be a sign of many things, from a nervous breakdown to mere youthful recklessness. For Mr. LaBeouf's sake I hope it is nothing serious. Indeed I hope - and, yes, I know that this idea has pretentious or just plain ridiculous overtones - that his actions are intended as a piece of performance art, one in which a young man in a very public profession tries to reclaim his public persona."

The 35-year-old 127 Hours actor further explained that he can relate to the Transformers star, saying: "Mr. LaBeouf has been acting since he was a child, and often an actor's need to tear down the public creation that constrains him occurs during the transition from young man to adult. I think Mr. LaBeouf's project, if it is a project, is a worthy one. I just hope that he is careful not to use up all the good will he has gained as an actor in order to show us that he is an artist."

Shia LaBeouf recently wore a paper nag over his head on the red carpet at the Berlin Film Festival gala premiere for Lars von Trier's Nymphomaniac, Volume I