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Shia Saide LaBeouf (/
LaBeouf at TIFF 2017
Shia Saide LaBeouf
June 11, 1986
Los Angeles, California, U.S.
(m. 2016; sep. 2018)
In 2007, LaBeouf starred in 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. 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.
Some of his other most notable roles are in films such as Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010), Lawless (2012), The Company You Keep (2012), Nymphomaniac (2013), Fury (2014), American Honey (2016), and Borg vs McEnroe (2017).
Since 2014, LaBeouf has pursued a variety of public performance art projects with LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner.
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 French 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 the Hebrew shai Yah, meaning "gift of God".
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.
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 adaptation Holes (2003). In 2005, he co-starred in Constantine, playing the role of Chas Kramer, with Keanu Reeves in the starring role. The same year he provided the voice of Asbel in the Disney-produced English dub of Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind. 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).
2007–2009: Career breakthrough
LaBeouf starred in Disturbia, a thriller released on April 13, 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". First hosting Saturday Night Live on April 14, 2007 he would also return barely a year later to host the May 10, 2008 episode. 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, director Michael Bay and screenwriter 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. While the movie grossed $800 million, it 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.
LaBeouf co-starred with Brad Pitt and Logan Lerman in David Ayer's World War II-set film, Fury; filming began in September 2013, and the movie was released in October 2014. LaBeouf was singled out for praise for his role as Boyd "Bible" Swan. Peter Travers for Rolling Stone called him "outstanding", whilst Joe Neumaier commented that "...LaBeouf finally finds a role he can disappear into, without his image getting in the way." Calvin Wilson for St. Louis Post Dispatch called it one of LaBeouf's best performances.
In 2015, LaBeouf starred in Sia's music video for "Elastic Heart" along with Maddie Ziegler. He also starred in the war-thriller film Man Down directed by Dito Montiel alongside Gary Oldman and Kate Mara.
In 2016, LaBeouf starred in American Honey, directed by Andrea Arnold, playing the male lead role, Jake. In Variety, Guy Lodge wrote that "despite the apparent stunt casting of LaBeouf", he "easily delivers his best performance here, bleeding the eccentricities of his own celebrity persona into the character to fascinating, oddly moving effect".
In early 2014, LaBeouf began collaborating with British artist and author of The Metamodernist Manifesto, Luke Turner, and Finnish artist Nastja Säde Rönkkö, embarking on a series of actions described by Dazed as "a multi-platform meditation on celebrity and vulnerability". Since then, LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner have engaged in numerous high-profile performance art projects, including #IAMSORRY (2014), #ALLMYMOVIES (2015), #TOUCHMYSOUL (2015), #TAKEMEANYWHERE (2016), and HEWILLNOTDIVIDE.US (2017–ongoing).
On February 9, 2014, the artists caused controversy at the Berlin Film Festival when LaBeouf arrived at the red carpet wearing a brown paper bag over his head with the words "I AM NOT FAMOUS ANYMORE" written on it. In a conversation conducted as part of the trio's #INTERVIEW piece in November 2014, LaBeouf said that he was "heartbroken" and "genuinely remorseful and full of shame and guilt" at the start of their subsequent #IAMSORRY performance, in which he occupied a Los Angeles gallery for six days wearing the paper bag and silently crying in front of visitors, but that "in the end I felt cared for however it came—it was beautiful, it blew me away." He revealed, however, that one woman had proceeded to sexually assault him during the February performance, while Rönkkö and Turner later clarified that they had prevented the assault by intervening as soon as they were aware of the incident starting to occur.
In 2015, LaBeouf appeared in #INTRODUCTIONS, a half-hour video made by LaBeouf, Rönkkö & Turner in collaboration with Central Saint Martins Fine Art students, comprising a series of short monologues performed by LaBeouf in front of a green screen. One segment in the form of an exaggerated motivational speech, dubbed "Just Do It" after the Nike slogan, became an Internet meme after going viral within days of being released, spawning numerous remixes and parodies, and becoming the most searched for GIF of 2015 according to Google.
He met his co-star and later girlfriend, English actress Mia Goth while filming Nymphomaniac in 2012. On October 10, 2016, LaBeouf and Goth appeared to get married in a Las Vegas ceremony officiated by an Elvis impersonator. Two days later, a local official said that the pair was not legally married, but instead a commitment ceremony was performed. Later that month, LaBeouf confirmed their nuptials on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. In September 2018, it was announced the couple had separated and filed for divorce.
Legal troubles and controversy
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, so the police were called. In the arrest report it was stated that LaBeouf spat at arresting officers. The report also details LaBeouf swearing at arresting officers. He was arrested and held at the Midtown North police station to later appear in court. Following the incident, LaBeouf voluntarily began seeking outpatient treatment for alcoholism, becoming involved in a 12-step program.
On July 8, 2017, around 4 a.m. LaBeouf was arrested in Savannah, Georgia, for public drunkenness, disorderly conduct and obstruction. Bodycam footage was released of LaBeouf's profane tirade against the arresting officers following his arrest. In October 2017 LaBeouf was found not guilty on one charge of public intoxication and pleaded no contest to disorderly conduct, for which he was fined $1,000, and will spend 12 months on probation minus time served. He was also required to attend anger management counseling. He has been diagnosed with PTSD.
On December 17, 2013, LaBeouf released his short film Howard Cantour.com to the Internet; shortly thereafter, 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||Caroline in the City||Ethan||Episode: "Caroline and the Bar Mitzvah"|
|1998||Breakfast with Einstein||Joey||Television film|
|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||The 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||Hounded||Ronny van Dussel||Television film|
|2001||The Nightmare Room||Dylan Pierce||Episode: "Scareful What You Wish For"|
|2002||The Proud Family||Johnny McBride (voice)||Episode: "I Love You Penny Proud"|
|2002||Tru Confessions||Eddie Walker||Television film|
|2003||The Even Stevens Movie||Louis Stevens||Television film|
|2003||Project Greenlight||Himself||Season 2|
|2007–2008||Saturday Night Live||Himself (host)||2 episodes|
|2007||Surf's Up||Cody Maverick (voice)|
|Transformers: The Game||Sam Witwicky (voice)|
|2009||Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen||Sam Witwicky (voice)|
Awards and nominations
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