How Shia LaBeouf Stopped Drinking and Found the Career He Wanted

Shia LaBeouf American Honey Variety Cover
JIRI TUREK for Variety

A photo shoot with Shia LaBeouf is a live-wire experience. With his curly locks slicked back, in Nikes and tattered pants, the 30-year-old actor refuses hair-and-makeup, as he blasts songs on his iPhone, singing along to Nina Simone’s “If You Pray Right (Heaven Belongs to You).” He’s friendly, but firm about what he won’t do, and he bristles when a Variety photographer suggests that he step inside an ancient-looking wine cellar. “No,” LaBeouf says, pointing to the bottles of alcohol. “That sh-t almost f–ked up my life.”

Over the last five years, LaBeouf has been embroiled in a bizarre off-screen drama of his own making — one that nearly derailed his career. He’s been dogged by several alcohol-related arrests, a public firing from the 2013 Broadway play “Orphans,” and even accusations of plagiarism surrounding a short film he directed that same year. But the biggest scandal came in 2014: Drunk on whiskey, he created such a ruckus while watching a Broadway performance of “Cabaret” that police officers hauled him off to jail.

Asked if he was worried at the time that the incident would hurt him professionally, LaBeouf answers honestly: “I had people tell me it was going to,” he says. “People I respected — dudes I wanted to work with — just looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Life’s too short for this sh-t.’ I’m still earning my way back. I’m happy working.”

JIRI TUREK for Variety

In an interview with Variety in Prague, where he’s shooting a new drama about John McEnroe, LaBeouf speaks candidly about his ups and downs, and how he has been working hard to put his life in order. He says he hasn’t had a drink in almost a year, and he’s been to AA meetings (though he doesn’t call himself an addict). “You don’t touch it,” he says. “Alcohol or any of that sh-t will send you haywire. I can’t f–k with none of it. I’ve got to keep my head low.”

Despite all he’s been through, LaBeouf appears to have turned a corner and reached a creative peak. He’s receiving the best reviews of his career for “American Honey,” which screens at the Toronto Film Festival this week after receiving a strong debut at Cannes in May. In the movie, which opens in theaters on Sept. 30 via A24, LaBeouf stars as the leader of a gang of nomad thieves and misfit kids selling magazine subscriptions on a cross-country road trip.

American Honey” director Andrea Arnold, who generally works with unknown actors, brushed off warnings not to cast LaBeouf in her low-budget film. Drawn to his earlier performance in “Transformers,” she met the actor for the first time several years ago in a café near her home outside London. The next time she saw him was in New York, on the morning after his “Cabaret” arrest, coming from jail and carrying his shoelaces in his hands. “I can never forget his face,” Arnold says. “He was hurting. He was very quiet.”

For “American Honey,” Arnold never gave LaBeouf a script, just a black-and-white picture of a forest for inspiration. He would get a page of dialogue in the morning before each shooting day. He prepared for the movie by spending two weeks with a real-life “magazine crew” that he knew from AA. “I was the only white dude in that group,” he says, adding, “They f–k each other. They rob people. They sell magazines. When I got to Andrea’s set and saw what the dynamics were, it made sense to me.”

JIRI TUREK for Variety

But there wasn’t much of a “set.” To shoot her $3.5 million movie, Arnold constructed a seven-week road trip that started in Muskogee, Okla., and spanned a handful of states. She shot in chronological order, and the cast’s relationships (and sleeping arrangements, in cheap motels) mirrored those of the characters they played. “We bonded hard,” LaBeouf recalls. “You do whatever is required for it to be true, for it to be honest. I had to run this group, sort of like a pimp.”

Every city brought a new adventure. “One of the things we’d do as a group, we’d all go to the f-cking tattoo shop,” LaBeouf says. He got inked with 12 tattoos while making the film, which drove his director crazy, because she didn’t want her star showing up looking different in every scene. The memories of “American Honey” are now forever engraved on LaBeouf’s arms, neck, and both of his knees, which feature matching portraits of Missy Elliott.

“I don’t love Missy Elliott like I wanna get two Missy Elliott tattoos,” LaBeouf says. “But you’re in a tattoo parlor, and” — he shrugs — “peer pressure.”

“American Honey” offers another milestone for the actor. It’s a performance that started generating Oscar buzz out of Cannes. But he scoffs at the awards chatter. “Nah, dude, not me,” says LaBeouf, who still hasn’t been invited into the Academy, despite having appeared in 30 movies. “The Oscars are about politics. I gotta earn my way back. It’s not about who is the best. I’m not that guy for a long time — for a long, long time.” He looks down. “I’m good with that, though. Sometimes that sh-t is a curse.”

The highs and lows of LaBeouf’s personal and professional life have been heavily chronicled in the press. Discovered at 14 as the plucky brother on the Disney Channel’s “Even Stevens,” LaBeouf quickly became a young it-list leading man in films like “The Battle of Shaker Heights,” “Holes,” and “Disturbia,” drawing comparisons to Tom Hanks.

But after starring in mega-blockbusters like the “Transformers” franchise and “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull,” he reinvented his public persona and veered off the rails. His unconventional antics included a stunt as a performance artist in which he wore a paper bag over his head at the 2014 Berlin Film Festival.

“People I respected just looked me in the eyes and said, ‘life’s too short for this sh-t.’ I’m still earning my way back.”
Shia LaBeouf

LaBeouf agrees that if he were an actress with the same TMZ rap sheet, his career would probably be over. “It’s a double standard, for sure,” he says. “Women require grace for longevity. I don’t think men require grace. You can be Mickey Rourke.” Or, for that matter, Shia LaBeouf.

LaBeouf says he’s on much better footing today. The career trajectory he was on as an A-list leading man doesn’t really exist anymore. Instead, he has joined a generation of actors — including James Franco, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Kristen Stewart — who have bypassed studio movies for indies. LaBeouf’s recent filmography is a patchwork of edgy titles such as Lars von Trier’s “Nymphomaniac: Vol. I” and “Vol. 2, ” Dito Montiel’s “Man Down,” and Janus Metz Pedersen’s “Borg vs. McEnroe,” which he’s currently filming in Prague. “MacEnroe is Mozart, man,” says LaBeouf, who studied the tennis star’s footage and interviewed his old coaches.

LaBeouf has also found a way to express another side of himself, through performance-art projects such as #IAmSorry, in which he invited strangers into a room to interact with him, while he wore that paper bag over his head. In last winter’s #AllMyMovies, he binge-watched his own movies for three days at the Angelika Film Center, capturing his reactions on a live internet feed.

LaBeouf acknowledges that his past has led him to his current career. “I don’t think I’d be working with the directors I’ve been working with if I had not f–ked up a bit,” he says. “They wanted a f–king fireball. They wanted a loose cannon. I’m learning how to distill my ‘crazy’ into something manageable, that I can shape and deliver on the day.” He says he didn’t have the tools to do that before. “I was an open wound bleeding on everything.”

He also claims to have gotten his personal life in order. (He’s engaged to British actress and model Mia Goth, with whom he wants to star in a play.) He describes the toll alcohol had taken on him. “I got a Napoleonic complex,” he says. “I start drinking and I feel smaller than I am, and I get louder than I should. It’s just not for me, dude.”

JIRI TUREK for Variety

In person, LaBeouf at times seems as if he’s contradicting himself. He speaks in a deeper-than-expected voice, which sounds like he’s channeling Joaquin Phoenix. Although he doesn’t do interviews often, he reveals that he went back and reread his old profiles to see how far he’s come. He used to describe himself as a method actor. “The word is getting embarrassing,” he says. “You don’t hear about female method actors. The whole thing has turned into weird, false masculinity sh-t.”

LaBeouf, who reads about six scripts a year, admits that he’s no longer on Hollywood’s wish list for major blockbusters. After “Fury” in 2014, director David Ayer approached him for “Suicide Squad,” for a role that eventually went to Scott Eastwood. “The character was different initially,” LaBeouf says. “Then Will [Smith] came in, and the script changed a bit. That character and Tom [Hardy’s] character [later played by Joel Kinnaman] got written down to build Will up.” LaBeouf says the studio vetoed his casting. “I don’t think Warner Bros. wanted me. I went in to meet, and they were like, ‘Nah, you’re crazy. You’re a good actor, but not this one.’ It was a big investment for them.”

He’s not sure if he wants to do blockbusters again, but he’d be open to reuniting with his “Transformers” director Michael Bay. “Mike is an artist,” LaBeouf says. “People don’t realize how dope that dude is. He’s got to get a little ballsier with his moves — he’s trying to toe the line and be James Cameron, but James Camerons are dying. I don’t know what he’s chasing, but that version of director is dead. If Mike is to sustain, he’s got to get f–king weird.”

To understand how LaBeouf has gotten to where he’s at, it’s important to know where he came from. Unlike most Disney stars, his childhood had a dark edge. “We didn’t have nothing,” says LaBeouf, who was raised by a single mom in Echo Park. “So I would steal Pokémon video games and Tamagotchis.” The first time he was arrested, in grade school, was for swiping a pair of Nikes from a Ross department store. During “Even Stevens,” LaBeouf stayed with his dad at a hotel in Burbank, and he’d ride to work on the back of his motorcycle.

JIRI TUREK for Variety

“There were drugs everywhere — marijuana, cocaine, heroin,” he says of his father’s friends. “[My dad] gave me my first joint when I was probably 11 or 12.” As a result of his upbringing, LaBeouf never felt like he fit in with Disney. “They would invite the Hilary Duffs and Miley Cyruses to go to the Jonas Brothers concert, and I’d be there with my friends. But we were outsiders. It felt distant.”

At 15, he emancipated himself from his mom, got his GED, and became a full-time actor. He dabbled in some indies, like 2006’s “A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints,” where he portrays a younger version of a man played by Robert Downey Jr. He only got the role when he sent the director, Montiel, a series of three audition tapes. “Each one was more terrifying than the next,” says Montiel, who cast him.

LaBeouf eventually followed Disney with a lucrative partnership with Steven Spielberg on several projects at DreamWorks–including “Disturbia,” “Transformers” and “Eagle Eye”–as well as Paramount’s “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.” He thought it would be a dream come true, but he had a hard time. “I grew up with this idea, if you got to Spielberg, that’s where it is,” says LaBeouf, who originally wanted roles like Macaulay Culkin’s in the “Home Alone” movies. “I’m not talking about fame, and I’m not talking about money.”

He thought Spielberg would be his ticket to a big-screen legacy. “You get there, and you realize you’re not meeting the Spielberg you dream of,” LaBeouf says. “You’re meeting a different Spielberg, who is in a different stage in his career. He’s less a director than he is a f–king company.” (Spielberg declined to comment.)

“This was a very distilled, constructed kind of crazy. It freed me up.”
Shia LaBeouf

LaBeouf felt like there was no room to grow as an actor, and that he was stuck. “Spielberg’s sets are very different,” he says. “Everything has been so meticulously planned. You got to get this line out in 37 seconds. You do that for five years, you start to feel like not knowing what you’re doing for a living.”

When LaBeouf completed the recent art project of re-watching his old films, he purposefully got up and left during the second “Transformers,” which was executive produced by Spielberg. “I don’t like the movies that I made with Spielberg,” he says. “The only movie that I liked that we made together was ‘Transformers’ one.”

LaBeouf says he felt the most disappointed by the reception for 2008’s “Crystal Skull.” He doesn’t consider the sequel a success, despite its worldwide gross of nearly $800 million. “I prepped for a year and a half,” LaBeouf says. “And then the movie comes out, and it’s your fault. That sh-t hurt bad.”

Spielberg once told him not to read his own press, but it didn’t seem like practical advice. “There’s no way to not do that,” LaBeouf says. “For me to not read that means I need to not take part in society.” It was easier for actors before the Internet. “The generation previous to mine didn’t have the immediate response,” he says. “If you were Mark Hamill, you could lie to yourself. You could find the pockets of joy, and turn a blind eye to the sh-t over there.”

He kept seeing anonymous comments online from people complaining that between “Transformers,” “Wall Street 2,” and “Crystal Skull,” he had destroyed the ’80s. Whenever a fan asked him for a selfie, he’d replay those thoughts in his head. “I didn’t like going in public, because I had to face my failures constantly,” he says.

It was around this time that he started drinking heavily. “Part of it was posturing,” LaBeouf says. “I never knew how to drink. I never liked to drink, but I knew you had to drink. It was a weird post-modern fascination with the f–k-ups. When I met Robert Downey Jr., I was like, ‘Man, you got all this f–king texture. How do I do this? How do I build texture?’”

He managed to find peace by discovering his inner artist. He started by experimenting with scripts and directing. But he was widely criticized for a 2013 short film that plagiarized from a work by cartoonist Daniel Clowes. “It’s straight theft, dude,” LaBeouf admits. “I just took the dude’s idea and made a movie. I truly f–ked up and apologized.”

JIRI TUREK for Variety

The plagiarism crisis was unfolding when LaBeouf was on the set of Ayer’s “Fury,” and the director told him to take control of his own narrative. Ayer was the one who suggested that LaBeouf tweet out meta-ironic, plagiarized apologies from Kanye West and Tiger Woods, among others, to let the public know he was in on the joke. “The guy was getting beat up,” Ayer says. “I was, like, ‘Lean into it, go on the journey, and have it be about that.’”

That became the germ for LaBeouf’s reinvented public persona — the performance artist who is operating on a different level. Soon after, while off from shooting “Fury,” LaBeouf connected with two conceptual artists, Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner, who gave him the idea to wear a paper bag emblazoned with the phase “I Am Not Famous Anymore” over his head at the premiere of “Nymphomaniac” at the Berlin Film Festival. For the record, LaBeouf says he cleared the stunt with von Trier and the festival beforehand, but the press proclaimed him to be on the verge of a breakdown.

“The media ran with it,” LaBeouf says. “You always hear Merle Haggard songs: He’s 50, missing the times he’s crazy when he was young. This was a very distilled, constructed kind of crazy. It freed me up.”

LaBeouf’s most recent performance-art project, #TakeMeAnywhere, consisted of a 30-day hitchhiking trip on which fans could pick up him and take him wherever they wanted. “It’s just a really wild journey,” he says, as he talks about bunking with a Mormon family in Utah, and coming downstairs for grandma’s breakfast. There was also an episode where a Bernie Sanders supporter asked him to fire a gun in a speeding car on the freeway, but LaBeouf won’t say if he pulled the trigger. “I don’t want to f–k my project by putting out some salacious headline like, ‘They’re Firing Guns Out the Window,’” he says.

LaBeouf says that his latest adventure gave him the chance to feel what he’s been chasing — human connection. “You float with people,” he says. “You’ve got to stay malleable.”

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  1. Nichole Jeffers says:

    Finding your way is hard enough in recovery with all your failures in the eyes of everyone that knows you. Don’t judge, I can’t imagine what it would feel like if all my shortcomings were being recorded and aired by the media and no place I could go without everyone in the world aware of them. He will find his way but I totally understand how it feels more difficult for labouf. We need to stop rubbing dirt in each other’s eyes and learn to support eachother. It takes many years to find stability and peace from within, I have faith that it is out there for you Shia, even with the recent ventures. If I could find it im confident that you can also!

  2. Really? All this artsy-fartsy crap about the ‘actor’ and art is a transparent attempt to cover for the manic ravings of a clearly active ADDICT, period. This really does not help him or the ‘art’ of acting; you are just enabling the destructive behaviours of a self-destructive addict.
    As for this contemporary belief that ‘acting’ is the pinnacle art form contained in the performing arts; absolutely untrue. Writers, directors, hell even wardrobe implicitly contains far more artistic skill, talent, training then regurgitating the efforts of these talented artists with your own semi-convincing personality attached.
    Are there great Actors? Sure, but few of them are this vacuous, egocentric and ‘UNTRAINED’ and they always are secondary in contribution to the real creators of performing arts, as listed above. Just for fun, look up how many actors have even a high school education, then do the same for ALL other performing art’s professions. Ignorance is never a good place to start, when wanting to create great art!

  3. Skylar Hunting says:

    That’s a gorgeous freaking look in at how Shia looks out. He’s after all the right shite, that boy…hungry for true texture and knowing you have to get it by FEELING and THINKING and DOING EVERYTHING. He hurls himself against all sides of our proverbial paper bags til he sprays out of his, relaxing into the next bigger paper bag…just to push past that one all over again. That’s everyone’s challenge in the free world as it is now in all its privilege and madness, and he’s doing it for all of us out loud.
    Appreciate you putting real meat into that article so we are included a bit deeper in his worthy reality.

  4. He knows what he is, he’s a great actor, he’s got everything it takes. And maybe that’s his worst problem right now: finding a self image that doesn’t look like like a fun-house mirror reflection, and reconciling that with what he wants to be.

  5. glenn says:

    bumps and bruises for the new actor as he finds his way

  6. DingBatsUnited says:

    Shariah LePoof the divider is a “performance artist”?? LOL!!!! What a JOKE!!!!

  7. Wyatt Short says:

    Great interview. Thanks for the read.

  8. Janice D. says:

    I’ve always loved Shia’s work. There is a truth and rawness that I appreciate in his acting… and even more so post blockbusters. Cheers to you, Shia. Nobody is perfect, and whoever says they are, or disagrees, is hiding behind something.

  9. Alice says:

    I have missed you at the big screen, good luck with everything and i hope you’ll stay away from the booze, sometimes we have to hit the rock bottom to realize what’s really important and what isn’t.

  10. Pamela Jai says:

    Congratulations to being an Adult. I too had a lot of struggles with the disillusion juice, making “amendments” a long list and “acceptance” back into family, friends, businesses, jobs a very long rode even to this day. But we all have our own paths to go through and our triumph is our “own”. Good Luck Shia!

  11. Eliza says:


  12. Terry of fakeababydotcom says:

    Good for him!

  13. Emily Whitehead says:

    I like Shia LeBeouf I am glad he is doing better. I hope to see him in some more movies very soon.

  14. Kathleen Mortimer says:

    I have watched Disturbia and I think it is great. Good plot, really lovely music and Shia LeBeouf is excellent. I have nothing but positive thing to say about the guy. You cannot go backwards in art, you learn more and get better as you move on. I screenwrite and my biggest fear is not being able to write good material. Bad experiences can shake your confidence but they cannot make you a worse artist, only a better one.

  15. Andras says:

    He’s spot on about Spielberg, this sacred cow of an institution in modern Hollywood. Reminds me of what Pauline Kael said about Spielberg’s creative decline as early as the 90’s.

  16. Patrick says:

    If I was Shia I would put the criticisms in the proper context. If someone said that I destroyed the 80’s because of how they perceived the sequels to classic 80’s movies, I would just realize that they probably saw those original movies when they were young and it left an impression on them that they wanted to get back when they saw the sequels. Well, sorry but you cant recapture an emotion you had 20 years ago no matter how good the sequel is. The key is to just work, stay true to yourself and learn as you go. The key is honesty… honesty with yourself, the product you are delivering and the people you work with.

  17. p51d007 says:

    Best way for him to stay clean, is look at acting as a JOB. At the end of the day, YOU GO HOME. (or back to where ever it is you are, on location. At the end of filming, you GO HOME.
    If you have to go to an event, when the event is over, you GO HOME.
    Stay out of the hollywood limelight.
    I know some actors, who do just that. You never hear of them, outside of their profession. They aren’t on TMZ, Drudge, National Enquirer. Why? Because it’s a job, not a lifestyle. They GO HOME at the end of the day.
    Get the picture?

    • Henry James says:

      The guy was in his teens and twenties for the period of time this article covers. If you wouldn’t be out shagging Hollywood tail when you’re young and rich-ish, then that’s you, but it wouldn’t be me, or probably even most people. Artists aren’t warehouse workers, and yeah, he’s one of the actors I’d consider and artist, what you consider him is up to you.

      Everybody has the answer, but the only reason we all don’t laugh when we read these comments, is because we don’t know who the person behind the comment is. If we did, if we had the opportunity to analyze the lives of the people giving Shia advice, we’d be rolling out the floor laughing and you know it.

      Face it, we all know what the other guy should do. Every last one of us.

      Then again, remember this …

      The IQ of the average American is 98. Critical/abstract thinking begins at around 110. A full 2/3rds of the general public does not have the ability to think critically.

      At the same time, the lower one’s IQ, the greater the likelihood one will describe their IQ as “above average”.

      The less intelligent one is, the more likely one is to overestimate their intelligence, and there’s no reason to think that the same doesn’t hold true for the advice that they give.

      Last but not least, Shia LaBeouf didn’t ask for your advice. What makes you think that you’re in a position to give it to him? I mean, the guy’s not living under a bridge, no?

      He’s likely far, far better off by every measure of success than every one of us in here. At least we’re talking about him. I can’t remember the last time I read an interview of you.

      Sure, the guy made mistakes, but he’s doing fine. How about you? Are you everything you could be? Are you batting 1.000? Have you maximized your potential or left something on the table? Should Shia know the track record of the guy who’s giving him advice? You know, to see first-hand how well it works?

      Instead of trying to better the life of someone who’s already surpassed you by leaps and bounds, worry about bettering your own life.

      Of course, there’s a 2/3rds chance that I don’t know what I’m talking about, so you might want to get a second opinion just to tilt the odds in your favor.

  18. Natt Bugg says:

    Still feels forced. Relax. We like ya. And we dig the laid back look.

  19. jim1988 says:

    If an article in Variety mentioned me in the same sentence as Kristen Stewart, I’d just end my career right then.
    But I’m glad he’s sober. Being alive is a good thing.

  20. MusicCityDawg says:

    Good article. He’s a talented kid. Sounds like he’s finding an authentic life free of the entitlement mentality that so many celebrities get into.

  21. Yes he is a bit off but a great movie he stared in is The greatest Game Ever Played. Watch it and you will enjoy his perfomance

  22. Henry James says:

    Every day I walk outside, take a deep breath of fresh exhaust put off by the cars with “green” slogans on their bumpers, look around me, and I wonder.

    “Where are all of the together people I always see online?”

    You know, the people who self-riteoussly reel off reply after reply as they think “If only everyone were like me, the world would be a perfect place.” The people who, despite their abject perfection, insist on remaining anonymous.


    They don’t make them. You do, though. You do lots of things sub-optimally, and anonymous Internet commenters will tell you what they are. As often as they can.

    Financial problems? You should get a better job.
    Credit problems? Pay them off in full every month. You should manage your money better.
    Health problems? Perhaps if you ate healthier like they do, it wouldn’t be a problem.

    See, they have the answers. Boy oh boy do they have the answers. Even if they’re obvious.

    “He should have paid more attention to the road”, they’ll offer in the comments of the article about the car crash.

    “What a brilliant observation”, I think, as I hear the squeal of tires outside my window, followed by a telltale THUNK that lets me know that another fender bender has occurred on the streets below. That’s what …. 8 this week? Living within earshot of Interstate 5 make me privvy to the imperfections of the masses.

    “Where are the anonymous Internet commenters??!!”, I wonder. See those guys, THOSE GUYS pay attention to the road. Always and without fail. WITHOUT FAIL. If only they would drive more, and everyone else, those without anonymous Internet commenting prowess, would drive less.

    But then it hits me.

    Like a ton of bricks from a downtown construction site.

    Like a grand piano snapped free from a 10-story hoist.

    It hits me, and I realize why the world is such an infinitely messed up place.

    It’s so obvious, I don’t know how I didn’t see it before.

    As I stand there on the sidewalk, looking at all of the homely, uncoordinated, overweight people … I get it.

    You see, all of the perfect people, those who know it all, know everything, and pull it off with unfailing precision, are at home, on the computer, desperately trying to perfect society one Internet comment thread at a time. They have no time to be out and about, walking, driving, doing the things that non-anonymous people do.

    No. Oh no. No no. they have far, far more important things to attend to. See, you are imperfect, unaware of something, deficient in some way, shape, or form. And somebody, clearly, clearly … has to make that known. I mean, they just have to. Otherwise, how would you know that they’re superior to you? You wouldn’t, and that would be the greatest crime of all. It’s the very reason that snark was invented. To prevent this most senseless of tragedies.

    As I stand there, and make this realization … suddenly, the world makes perfect sense. I can breathe easily again.

    And then off I go, careful not to trip off the curb like I did the day before, into the world, where I try my best to eek out a living and support my family despite my many glaring imperfections. So very, very many imperfections.

    The Internet is a humbling place, populated by infinitely perfect, together people, who toil endlessly to point out the flaws of the imperfect. It’s enabled judgement, self-riteousness, and pretense on a scale previously unknown to mankind.

    Which brings us to the present.

    Shia LaBeouf, you see, is a doer. Measured by the yardstick of financial success, he is more successful than 99.9% of people who grow up poor. Despite this overwhelming success, LaBeouf is among the imperfect. He doesn’t spend his days critiquing the imperfect online, because he has not yet perfected himself, despite having 30 years to do so.

    Did the rest of us having it all figured out by age 30? Could any of us commenting on this article have our 20’s withstand the scrutiny of the masses and come out the other side looking awesome? Well, of course. That’s why we’re anonymous. To prove to everyone that it’s possible to be both perfect AND accountable. It takes a courage and confidence that frankly, few people have.

    Given that Shia LaBeouf lives his life, takes risks, and makes mistakes by doing so, he is deserving our of contempt. Had he an ounce, just one ounce of self-respect or intelligence, he would spend his days judging the imperfect, anonymously.

    Please join me, won’t you, in wagging a finger at Shia LaBeouf. Mr. LeBeouf, you have disgraced yourself, not to mention mankind, but continuing to live a life that does not mirror that of the typical anonymous Internet commenter. There are not enough pejoratives in the english language to convey the disgust that I have for you.

    In closing, I would like everyone to realize that I do not care one bit about Shia LaBeouf, nor do I even know who he is, because like everyone else who has commented, I have a rich and fulfilling life of Internet commenting, and could not care less about the lives of “celebrities”.

    There, that about covers it. I feel better about me now. When I’m criticizing others, it prevents me from having to look at my own faults, and my own problems don’t look so bad anymore. And really, that’s what this little endeavor is all about.

    Shame, Shia LaBeouf. Shame, shame, shame.

  23. facts! says:

    He’s not memorable, not that talented, and therefore is not much of an artist. No one can say, “Boy that Shia LaBoeuf was great in (something that’s more than just a quickie movie)!” Sorry for him. He seems unhappy and twisted, and still very much a kid, and he has had a rough time of it, but that doesn’t make him a great, lasting actor.

  24. WHO gives a rat’s furry rear about this guy, OR 98% of Hollywood, filled with freaks and anti-American spoiled brats?

  25. Bob says:

    But when will he learn how to Act?

  26. MSazax says:

    He did his best work in “Even Stevens”.

  27. roni says:

    seems like someone either a really jealous actor or an angry producer is making false accounts on this site and loading the comment section with hate comments
    for me I really like disturbia and eagle eye and wish shia would return to comedy he definitely can do both drama and comedy maybe his encounter with spielberg was bad but those movies were good and the first transformers
    as for the tattoos he sounds like he regrets them or they were only a good idea at the moment and finally good for him quitting this venom

  28. Kala says:

    So sick of these self-absorbed nincompoops.

  29. Merkin Muffley says:

    Categorize this scumbag in the “who cares” column. Best if we never hear from him, again.

  30. resistancenow says:

    Great article, Shia is on a good path, I hope he stays true. He still has some anger, but that’s OK it’s driving him.

  31. freeek says:

    Right, and you’re here because you have nothing else to do, sad.

  32. freeek says:

    You’re literally crying for attention, I pity you

  33. aubreyfarmer says:

    Living in Hollywood and trying to keep up with all of the posers, degenerates, pedophiles and perverts would ruin even a good man no less a punk kid being used vicariously by his retarded parents.

  34. I love to see people own their mistakes and pull themselves back from the brink. Shia is talented and has become wise beyond his years. I wish him well.

  35. Jim says:

    Despite what some of the critics say below, the kid is a great actor. He also had some terrible parenting which is going to make life difficult for any kid. He seems to have gotten himself back on the road to recovery in every aspect, and I hope his talent and hard work help in his redemption as it did for Robert Downey, Jr. I hope and expect to see great work from him in the future. God bless you, kid.

  36. M says:

    I actually applaud Shia for being so honest about his opinions, this was interesting to read instead of another cookie cut and dry PR approved interview with just enough pre approved manufactured edge.

  37. Blounttruth says:

    Poor confused dude. Early fame and a run to drugs/alcohol to make himself “exceptional” is the all too common meme, not realizing that the boozing and losing are the norm as opposed to individualism. Many of our youth fall into this trap of “lets get radical, drunk, drugged, and stupid”, but what they don’t know is that is an old show, and has been played out, but they think they are the pioneers and no one can tell them any different. It is a good thing he has stopped the drinking, and perhaps can find some solstice, but being an individual is the radical thing, making things for you and not for the masses is what is important, and not following the collective crowd will lead to more happiness and truth in ones life.

  38. Hollywood has always been a wonderful place to grow spiritually.

  39. c p says:

    Dress up and act, tap dance, sing, whatever…

    That’s all we want from you. The rest of your problems?? Sack UP!!!!

  40. Breana says:

    #takemeanywhere sounds interesting. So does American Honey. I’m from Oklahoma and I read that you started in Muskogee. That’s cool. Sounds like you’ve earned your texture long before you realized.

  41. borat says:

    Hilarious all the people who took the time to comment that they don’t care. Hahaha, really?

  42. Ari Manuel says:

    The world yawns as this endless article about Shia LaTurd is not read by more than 11 fans of this ‘who cares ?’ bore..

    • freeek says:

      I guess that’s why you are here among 100 comments, you must be bored as hell. Don’t you have other things to do than to write sh*t about famous people?

      Get a life, loser.

  43. CO Jones says:

    > “He got inked with 12 tattoos”

    ‘Nuff said. Who cares?

    He’s another solipsistic narcissist like Lohan, playing the public for saps.

    • Jo Mama says:

      Funny, I thought both of those were MK victims who were rejecting their programming, aka “going crazy.” Kind of like bald Britney, Selma Blair on a plane, it goes on and on…

  44. Splooj66 says:

    He’s kind of a cross between Cory Feldman and Nic Cage, seemingly in real life as well.

  45. Scott Conner says:

    ugly, scrawny, not very talented; but be some nepotism there

  46. Ken says:

    Dude: dumb script aside, you were perfectly fine in “Crystal Skull”…and you were great in “Fury” and “Nymphomaniac” Get your shit together, and keep doing good work. WORK will be your ultimate salvation. Chill. Peace.

  47. Bill says:

    Thirty years old and still playing child roles….oh yeah, there’s a peak for you.


  48. Rumplestiltskin says:

    And all of it practiced and superficial. He is not being himself, he is trying to be something, but is not sure what that something is, so he flails around looking for anything that will give him a modicum purchase. And if that purchase is based on the emotions of another he will always consider himself to be one step behind.

    • Clearminded says:

      Hey Rump – try his childhood out. Live it. No, don’t go into “lets save the underdog victim” loop on me here…but just exactly who the F do you think you are? Not everyone “found” themselves on the same day as you “think” you have.
      You work on the plank in your own eye – while SL works out his own way.

      • It takes real character to face the inner psyche that guides you when it leads you astray. I commend Shia for being open and transparent and taking a healthy realistic view of that one part of his journey that derailed him. Love the path he’s forging now… sheer honesty is always refreshing!

  49. Kt. says:

    Texture is having empathy, for others’ and your own suffering. That requires a curious, open mind to learn, understand other viewpoints – even support the ones knocked down by judgment and indifference.

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