LaBeouf at the premiere of Fury in Washington D.C, October 2014
|Born||Shia Saide LaBeouf
June 11, 1986
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Shia Saide LaBeouf (i/ /; born June 11, 1986) is an American actor and director who became known among younger audiences as Louis Stevens in the Disney Channel series Even Stevens. LaBeouf received a Young Artist Award nomination in 2001 and won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2003 for his role. He made his film debut in Holes (2003), based on the novel of the same name by Louis Sachar. In 2004, he made his directorial debut with the short film Let's Love Hate and later directed a short film titled Maniac (2011), starring American rappers Cage and Kid Cudi.
In 2007, LaBeouf starred in the lead role of the commercially successful films Disturbia and Surf's Up. The same year he was cast in Michael Bay's science fiction film Transformers as Sam Witwicky, the main protagonist of the series. Despite mixed reviews, Transformers was a box office success and one of the highest grossing films of 2007. LaBeouf later appeared in its sequels Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009) and Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011), both also box office successes. In 2008, he played Henry "Mutt Williams" Jones III in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, the fourth film in the Indiana Jones franchise. His other films include Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010), Lawless (2012), The Company You Keep (2012), Nymphomaniac (2013) and Fury (2014).
- 1 Early life
- 2 Career
- 3 Performance art
- 4 Personal life
- 5 Filmography
- 6 Awards and nominations
- 7 References
- 8 External links
LaBeouf was born in Los Angeles, California, as the only child of Shayna (née Saide) and Jeffrey Craig LaBeouf. His mother is a dancer and ballerina turned visual artist and clothing jewelry designer. His father is a Vietnam War veteran who had numerous jobs. LaBeouf's mother is Jewish, and his father, who is of Cajun descent, is Christian. LaBeouf has described himself as Jewish, and has stated that he was raised around "both sides"; he had a Bar Mitzvah ceremony, and was also baptized in the Angelus church. One of the camps he attended was Christian. His first name is derived from Hebrew שי יה shai Yah, meaning "gift of God". However, some media publications have reposted a parody that likens his forename to the Shiite faith due to Shia being an adjective form of Shiism.
LaBeouf has described his parents as "hippies", his father as "tough as nails and a different breed of man", and his upbringing as similar to a "hippy lifestyle", stating that his parents were "pretty weird people, but they loved me and I loved them." During his childhood, he accompanied his father to meetings of Alcoholics Anonymous. LaBeouf has also said he was subjected to verbal and mental abuse by his father, who once pointed a gun at his son during a Vietnam War flashback. LaBeouf has stated that his father was "on drugs" during his childhood, and was placed in drug rehabilitation for heroin addiction, while LaBeouf's mother was "trying to hold down the fort."
His parents eventually divorced, mainly owing to financial problems, and LaBeouf had what he has described as a "good childhood", growing up poor in Echo Park with his mother, who worked selling fabrics and brooches. LaBeouf's uncle was going to adopt him at one stage because his parents could not afford to have him anymore and "they had too much pride to go on welfare or food stamps." As a way of dealing with his parents' divorce, he would perform for his family, mimicking his father. LaBeouf remains close to and financially supports both of his parents.
He attended 32nd Street Visual and Performing Arts Magnet in Los Angeles (LAUSD) and Alexander Hamilton High School, although he received most of his education from tutors. In an interview, LaBeouf said that, looking back on his childhood, he feels grateful and considers some of those memories scars.
When a neighbor in his Studio City apartment complex had insulted his mother and rear-ended his car, LaBeouf, then aged 19, brought a knife, and a friend for backup, to the neighbor's apartment, which resulted in LaBeouf being assaulted by the neighbor and six of the neighbor's friends.
1996–2006: Disney career
Prior to acting, LaBeouf practiced comedy around his neighborhood as an "escape" from a hostile environment. At age 10, he began performing stand-up at comedy clubs, describing his appeal as having "disgustingly dirty" material and a "50-year-old mouth on the 10-year-old kid." He subsequently found an agent through the Yellow Pages and was taken on after pretending to be his own manager. LaBeouf has said that he initially became an actor because his family was broke, not because he wanted to pursue an acting career, having originally gotten the idea from a child actor he met who had things he wanted.
In the early 2000s, LaBeouf became known among young audiences after playing Louis Stevens on the Disney Channel weekly program Even Stevens, a role that later earned him a Daytime Emmy Award. He has said that "[he] grew up on that show" and being cast was the "best thing" that happened to him. In the next several years, he appeared in the well-received film adaption Holes (2003). In 2005, he co-starred in Constantine, playing the role of Chas Kramer, with Keanu Reeves in the starring role. LaBeouf made his directorial debut with the short film Let's Love Hate with Lorenzo Eduardo. He has played real-life people, including golfer Francis Ouimet and the younger version of Dito Montiel in A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints (2006).
2007–08: Career breakthrough
LaBeouf starred in Disturbia, a thriller released on 13 April 2007, as a teenager under house arrest who suspects that his neighbor is a serial killer, which he considered a "character-driven" role. He received positive reviews for the role, with The Buffalo News saying, he "is able to simultaneously pull off [the character's] anger, remorse and intelligence". He hosted Saturday Night Live on April 14, and on May 10, 2008. He next played Sam Witwicky, who becomes involved in the Autobot-Decepticon war on Earth, in Transformers.
In Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008) he was Indiana Jones' greaser son Mutt Williams. His performance was met with mixed reviews with Todd Gilchrist of IGN commenting "one can't quite help but wonder what Spielberg saw in the young actor that inspired him to cast LaBeouf". LaBeouf told the Los Angeles Times that he felt he as an actor "dropped the ball" on Jones' legacy, and "there was a reason" the film wasn't universally accepted. His next film was Eagle Eye, released on September 26. His performance received mixed reviews, with Josh Bell of Las Vegas Weekly saying he "makes a credible bid for action-hero status, although his occasional stabs at emotional depth don't really go anywhere."
In February, LaBeouf made his music video directorial debut, directing the video for "I Never Knew You", a single by American rapper Cage, from his third album Depart from Me (2009). It was shot in Los Angeles and features several cameo appearances from Cage's Definitive Jux label-mates. It was also announced the two would be teaming up to make a biopic about the rapper's life, starring LaBeouf. When speaking on the making of the video, LaBeouf said: "I'm 22 and I'm directing my favorite rapper's music video. This shit is better than riding unicorns." Through Cage, LaBeouf met Kid Cudi. All three of them have formed a friendship and continued to work together. LaBeouf later worked with Cudi and Cage on a short film inspired by their collaborative "Maniac", from Cudi's second album Man on the Moon II: The Legend of Mr. Rager (2010). Aside from directing the short film, which was titled MANIAC (2011), LaBeouf directed the music video for Kid Cudi's song "Marijuana", which he filmed at the 2010 Cannabis Cup.
LaBeouf reprised the role of Sam Witwicky in the 2009 sequel to Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Filming for the movie began in May 2008 and ended in late 2008. Due to LaBeouf's injury from his car accident, Bay and screen writer Roberto Orci had to rewrite the script to protect his hand throughout filming. LaBeouf said production was only delayed two days after his accident because Bay made up for it by filming second unit scenes, and LaBeouf recovered a few weeks earlier than expected, allowing him to return to the set. Near the end of filming, LaBeouf injured his eye when he hit a prop; the injury required seven stitches. He resumed filming two hours later. The movie grossed $800 million, but received mostly negative reviews by critics, with LaBeouf sharing a nomination for the "Worst Screen Couple of 2009" Razzie Award with "either Megan Fox or any Transformer."
His only 2010 movie was the Oliver Stone-directed film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, the sequel to Wall Street (1987). In this, LaBeouf played an ambitious Wall Street trader. It became another mixed critical success for him. The Hollywood Reporter named LaBeouf as one of the young male actors who are "pushing – or being pushed" into taking over Hollywood as the new "A-List". LaBeouf completed the 2010 Los Angeles Marathon on March 21, 2010 with a time of 4 hours, 35 minutes and 31 seconds.
He reprised his role in the third live-action Transformers film, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, which was released on June 28, 2011. He did not return for the fourth film in the series, Transformers: Age of Extinction, and Mark Wahlberg was cast as a new lead character.
In 2012, Rob Cantor of Tally Hall produced a song describing LaBeouf as a murderous cannibal. In 2014, Cantor produced a music video based on this song. Despite the title and lyrics, the intent was humorous and non-serious, and LaBeouf appeared at the end of the video, applauding.
LaBeouf has created three short graphic novels Stale N Mate, Cyclical, and Let's Fucking Party, and a webcomic series, Cheek Up's through the publishing company, The Campaign Book. In April 2012, he promoted them at Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo. In 2013 it was discovered that at least two of his graphic novels (Stale N Mate and Let's Fucking Party) contained text plagiarized from Benoît Duteurtre and Charles Bukowski.
LaBeouf played a bootlegger in John Hillcoat's 2012 crime drama Lawless. In June 2012, the Icelandic band Sigur Rós released a video for the song "Fjögur Píanó", starring LaBeouf, in which he appears nude. According to a press release for the band, the video depicts "a man and woman locked in a never-ending cycle of addiction and desire". In February 2013, he pulled out of what would have been his Broadway debut, in Lyle Kessler's play Orphans, citing "creative differences" with co-star Alec Baldwin, though The New York Times and Baldwin himself maintain LaBeouf was fired.
In 2015, LaBeouf starred in Sia's music video for "Elastic Heart" along with Maddie Ziegler. He is also set to star as the lead role in the upcoming war-thriller film Man Down directed by Dito Montiel alongside Gary Oldman and Kate Mara.
In January 2014, LaBeouf stated that his Twitter account was "meta-modernist performance art”, following a sequence of appropriated Twitter apologies and skywriting messages in response to revelations he had plagiarized the work of graphic novelist Daniel Clowes. Collaborating with British artist Luke Turner and Finnish performance artist Nastja Säde Rönkkö, LaBeouf embarked upon a series of actions described by Dazed as “a multi-platform meditation on celebrity and vulnerability.”
On 9 February 2014, LaBeouf caused controversy at the Berlin Film Festival by walking out of the press conference for Nymphomaniac, quoting the famous "seagulls" statement made by French footballer Eric Cantona: "When the seagulls follow the trawler, it is because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea." Later that night, he arrived at the red carpet wearing a brown paper bag over his head emblazoned with the words "I am not famous anymore".
Two days later, LaBeouf, Rönkkö and Turner staged a six-day performance in a Los Angeles gallery entitled #IAMSORRY, in which LaBeouf sat wearing a tuxedo and the paper bag, silently crying in front of visitors. Attendees were allowed to enter one at a time, and invited to choose an item from a table of "implements" to take in with them, including a Transformers toy, an Indiana Jones whip, a bottle of Jack Daniel's, a pair of pliers, a ukulele, a bowl full of hateful tweets directed at LaBeouf, and a copy of Clowes's book The Death-Ray. Time columnist Joel Stein, who spent three days waiting in line to see the performance, observed that LaBeouf "was immensely present," and that "he was whatever was projected upon him," while Kate Knibbs of The Daily Dot found the experience "genuinely disturbing", and "felt like I was further dehumanizing someone whose humanity I'd discounted." The Daily Beast's Andrew Romano opined that "there was more going on in those few seconds than in a lot of contemporary art. LaBeouf's look-at-me Internet penance ritual had become an actual moment between actual people." The following November, in an email interview with Dazed Digital, LaBeouf said that a woman "stripped [his] clothing and proceeded to rape [him]" during the February performance.
The Guardian and Time both suggested that #IAMSORRY bore a resemblance to Marina Abramović's The Artist is Present, although Abramović herself stated that "this is not the same work," commenting that LaBeouf's performance was "a pretty strong statement," and that she found it very interesting "that the Hollywood world wanted to go back to performance…to be connected to [the] direct public, which, you know, being a Hollywood actor doesn't permit you." James Franco also voiced his support of LaBeouf, writing a New York Times article in which he called LaBeouf's project "a worthy one", describing it as a piece "in which a young man in a very public profession tries to reclaim his public persona." During LaBeouf's performance, Jerry O'Connell parodied the project by opening his own art installation, #IAMSORRYTOO, right next door to the gallery in a stunt for comedy video website Funny or Die.
On Presidents' Day 2014, the day after LaBeouf's gallery performance ended, LaBeouf arranged for skywriting over Los Angeles to display the message "#StartCreating". This was in contrast to a similar skywriting message, "#StopCreating", which LaBeouf had made the previous month in reference to a cease and desist letter Clowes's lawyer had sent him.
In May 2014, LaBeouf took part in an exhibition at London's Auto Italia South East with a performance entitled Meditation for Narcissists, in which he jumped rope for an hour via a live Skype link. During the performance, LaBeouf invited the audience to take the ropes provided in the gallery and "join me on my quest to find my inner self." Dazed reported that the performance's attendees "all gave off an air of self-consciousness that came not from watching themselves in a digital mirror, but from being under the gaze of someone who is usually—constantly—under the gaze of the public."
During 2014, LaBeouf gave lectures via Skype at the London College of Fashion, in which he read passages from Guy Debord's 1967 Situationist work The Society of the Spectacle, and at Radboud University Nijmegen, where he presented a talk on metamodernism. Turner's 2011 Metamodernist Manifesto has also been credited to his collaborator LaBeouf, defining metamodernism as "the mercurial condition between and beyond irony and sincerity, naivety and knowingness, relativism and truth, optimism and doubt, in pursuit of a plurality of disparate and elusive horizons," and concluding with a call to "go forth and oscillate!"
From 2004 to 2007, LaBeouf dated China Brezner, who he met on the set of The Greatest Game Ever Played. They broke up because he became too busy with his work to put any time into the relationship, and he described the break-up as being like "rebuilding after a tornado." He dated English actress and one-time co-star Carey Mulligan from August 2009 to October 2010; they were introduced by the film's director, Oliver Stone, prior to filming and began dating shortly after. Of that relationship he said: "I still love her. I think she's a fucking awesome person and an incredible actress. We're still pals. I wouldn't take any of it back, and I don't think she would either. It just ran its course." In the August 2011 issue of Details magazine, he acknowledged having had a relationship with actresses Isabel Lucas, while she was still dating Adrian Grenier, and Megan Fox, while she was still seeing her now-husband Brian Austin Green.
Legal troubles and controversy
In February 2005, LaBeouf was arrested by police in Los Angeles and charged with assault with a deadly weapon after threatening his neighbor by driving into his car. A bystander claimed that LaBeouf lost his cool after he had to wait to get access to his garage while the neighbor, who was blocking his path, chatted to his girlfriend. The onlooker said: "Shia began honking his horn and yelling at the guy, but the neighbor told him to wait a minute, and carried on talking to his girlfriend. Then Shia rammed his car into the back of the other guy's car. Words were exchanged and Shia jumped out and threatened the neighbor." LaBeouf allegedly appeared at his neighbor's front door hours later waving a kitchen knife. The two fought, the cops were called, and the actor was led off in handcuffs.
Early in the morning of November 4, 2007, a security guard asked LaBeouf to leave a Chicago Walgreens; after refusing to do so, LaBeouf was arrested for misdemeanor criminal trespassing. The criminal charges were dropped on December 12, 2007.
In March 2008, an arrest warrant was issued for LaBeouf, after he failed to make a court appearance. The hearing was in relation to a ticket he had received for unlawful smoking in Burbank, California, in February 2008. When neither LaBeouf nor a lawyer appeared at the court, at 8:30 a.m., a $1000 bench warrant was issued for his arrest. However, the court commissioner in California recalled this warrant on March 19, 2008, after the actor's attorney arrived a day late to plead not guilty on LaBeouf's behalf, and a pre-trial hearing was set for April 24, 2008. The charge was dismissed, after the actor paid a $500 fine.
At approximately 3 A.M. on July 27, 2008, LaBeouf was involved in a car crash at the intersection of La Brea Avenue and Fountain Avenue in Los Angeles. His Ford F-150 was hit from the side by a vehicle running a red light. LaBeouf had been gripping the top of the windowsill as he drove and, upon impact, the truck rolled onto his exposed left hand, crushing it. While responding to the accident, police officers smelled alcohol on LaBeouf's breath. Because he refused a breathalyzer examination, authorities arrested LaBeouf at the scene for misdemeanor drunk driving, and his driver's license was suspended for one year. Michael Bay, who at the time of the accident was working with LaBeouf in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, stated that LaBeouf had been drinking hours before the car accident and he had felt that, by the time the accident had occurred, the alcohol had worn off. LaBeouf had to undergo one of many hand surgeries immediately after the accident. His passenger, Isabel Lucas, and the driver and passenger in the other car all suffered only minor injuries. Due to severe damages from the accident, LaBeouf's truck was totaled; his father keeps the vehicle at his home as a memento. Two days later, a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman announced that LaBeouf was not at fault in the accident as the other driver had run a red light. LaBeouf returned to the set of the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and shooting resumed. In September of that year, LaBeouf described the car accident as being "eye-opening and terrifying." He said that, as a result of the injuries, he had screws and plates put in his left hand; there is also scarring. A screw was placed in one of his knuckles, and he had a shaved piece of bone from his hip made into a bone for his finger. In April 2009, he stated he had undergone three hand surgeries. He said that he would regain "probably about 80-something percent" use of his hand and, while he would be able to make a fist again, "there's a knuckle [I will] never be able to move again." In May 2010, he said that he has "completely" regained movement in his fingers. In June 2011, in an interview in Details magazine, he claimed that he and Lucas were "philandering around" before the accident occurred.
In the early morning of February 5, 2011, he was involved in an altercation with another patron at the Mad Bull's Tavern bar in the Sherman Oaks neighborhood of Los Angeles, which resulted in the actor getting punched in the face. Both LaBeouf and the unnamed patron were placed in handcuffs and questioned by a Los Angeles Police Department officer but later released with no arrest being made.
On June 26, 2014, LaBeouf was charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespass at New York's Studio 54 theater. He was reported to have been "acting disorderly, yelling and being loud". He refused to leave the theater, where the musical Cabaret starring Alan Cumming was being performed, so the police were called. In the arrest report it was stated that LaBeouf spat at arresting officers. The report also details LaBeouf using a homophobic slur and swearing at arresting officers. He was arrested and held at the Midtown North police station to later appear in court.
In November 2014, LaBeouf stated that a woman "stripped [his] clothing and proceeded to rape [him]" the previous February at his Los Angeles art installation #IAMSORRY. LaBeouf's artist collaborators, Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner, stated that as soon as they were aware of the incident starting to occur, they "put a stop to it." In response to Piers Morgan's questions on Twitter as to why the woman was not detained, Turner stated that she ran out before it was clear precisely what had happened, and that the first priority had been to ensure everybody's safety in the gallery. When later asked whether they regretted not having a code of conduct for participants during the exhibit, Turner said, "I don’t think you need a notice on the wall saying 'Do not murder the artist'."
On December 17, 2013, LaBeouf released his short film Howard Cantour.com to the Internet and shortly after several bloggers noted its close similarity to Justin M. Damiano, a 2007 comic by Ghost World creator Dan Clowes. Wired journalist Graeme McMillan noted at least three similarities in their article, one of which was that the opening monologue for the short and the comic were identical. LaBeouf would later remove the film and claim that he did not intend to copy Clowes but was instead "inspired" by him and "got lost in the creative process." He followed this up with several apologies via Twitter writing, "In my excitement and naiveté as an amateur filmmaker, I got lost in the creative process and neglected to follow proper accreditation", and "I deeply regret the manner in which these events have unfolded and want @danielclowes to know that I have a great respect for his work". Clowes responded by saying "The first I ever heard of the film was this morning when someone sent me a link. I've never spoken to or met Mr. LaBeouf ... I actually can't imagine what was going through his mind." LaBeouf was criticized over his apology, with some sites such as The A.V. Club noting that the apology itself appeared to have been lifted from a 2010 post on Yahoo! Answers.
Since the initial discovery of the plagiarism of Clowe's work, LaBeouf's other work has come under scrutiny. News outlets reported that LaBeouf's comic books, Let's Fucking Party and Stale N Mate, had been plagiarized from Benoît Duteurtre's The Little Girl and the Cigarette and Charles Bukowski's Assault.
In January 2014, LaBeouf spoke about the plagiarism accusations with Bleeding Cool writer Rich Johnston, where he stated that he saw copyright laws as too restrictive and that it did not allow for ideas to flow freely. LaBeouf later tweeted a description of his next project, Daniel Boring (a reference to David Boring, another comic created by Clowes). The description of the project was also taken word-for-word from a description by Clowes of his comic. Clowes' attorney, Michael Kump, has since sent a cease-and-desist letter to LaBeouf's attorney, which LaBeouf posted on Twitter.
In 2004, LaBeouf contributed an essay to the book I Am Jewish, by Judea Pearl, in which LaBeouf stated that he has a "personal relationship with God that happens to work within the confines of Judaism". He has described himself as Jewish, but declared in 2007 that religion had "never made sense" to him. However, in an interview published in Interview Magazine in October 2014, LaBeouf stated "I found God doing Fury. I became a Christian man, and not in a fucking bullshit way – in a very real way. I could have just said the prayers that were on the page. But it was a real thing that really saved me".
|1998||Christmas Path, TheThe Christmas Path||Cal|
|1998||Breakfast with Einstein||Joey||Television film|
|2001||Hounded||Ronny van Dussel||Television film|
|2002||Tru Confessions||Eddie Walker||Television film|
|2003||Even Stevens Movie, TheThe Even Stevens Movie||Louis Stevens||Television film|
|2003||Battle of Shaker Heights, TheThe Battle of Shaker Heights||Kelly Ernswiler|
|2003||Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle||Max Petroni|
|2003||Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd||Lewis|
|2003||Holes||Stanley "Caveman" Yelnats IV|
|2005||Greatest Game Ever Played, TheThe Greatest Game Ever Played||Francis Ouimet|
|2005||Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind||Asbel (voice)||English dub|
|2006||Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, AA Guide to Recognizing Your Saints||Young Dito|
|2007||Surf's Up||Cody Maverick (voice)|
|2008||Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull||Henry "Mutt Williams" Jones III|
|2008||Eagle Eye||Jerry Shaw / Ethan Shaw|
|2009||Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen||Sam Witwicky|
|2009||New York, I Love You||Jacob|
|2010||Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps||Jacob "Jake" Moore|
|2011||Transformers: Dark of the Moon||Sam Witwicky|
|2011||Born Villain||Co-writer, director
|2012||Company You Keep, TheThe Company You Keep||Ben Shepard|
|2013||Charlie Countryman||Charlie Countryman|
|2015||Man Down||Gabriel Drummer|
|1998||Caroline in the City||Ethan||Episode: "Caroline and the Bar Mitzvah"|
|1999||Jesse||Moe||Episode: "Momma Was a Rollin' Stone"|
|1999||Suddenly Susan||Ritchie||Episode: "A Day in the Life"|
|1999||Touched by an Angel||Johnny||Episode: "The Occupant"|
|1999||X-Files, TheThe X-Files||Richie Lupone||Episode: "The Goldberg Variation"|
|2000||ER||Darnel Smith||Episode: "Abby Road"|
|2000||Freaks and Geeks||Herbert the Mascot||Episode: "We've Got Spirit"|
|2000–2003||Even Stevens||Louis Anthony Stevens||66 episodes|
|2001||Nightmare Room, TheThe Nightmare Room||Dylan Pierce||Episode: "Scareful What You Wish For"|
|2002||Proud Family, TheThe Proud Family||Johnny McBride (voice)||Episode: "I Love You Penny Proud"|
|2008||Saturday Night Live||Host||2 episodes|
Awards and nominations
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- Shia LaBeouf: Hollywood's Last Bad Boy By Aaron Gell October 2011|"What followed was a series of stints in various reformatories, behavioral academies, and religious retreats, including one Christian camp where he was required to wash the feet of his fellow campers after a strenuous hike, just like the apostles"
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