Shia LaBeouf turns Christian… but not THAT kind of Christian
Keeping with our Christianity theme today—Shia LaBeouf says he “found God.” Under the couch cushions? In the pockets of the pants he was wearing yesterday? He doesn’t say, sadly, so don’t call off the dogs just yet.
LaBeouf, who got his start on Nickelodeon’s Even Stephen, gives a rather personal and passionate interview with Interview magazine about how he wanted to be the next Gary Oldman and everybody else wanted him to be the next Tom Hanks. The result was a bunch of tepid, edge-free “bad boy” roles (especially “Mutt” in Indiana Jones and “Sam” in Transformers) that everybody hated, and LaBeouf was crushed that his name had become a punch line.
LaBEOUF: I felt like I was being blamed for everything wrong with every movie I’d ever been a part of. Which may well have been the case. But what winds up happening is you become resentful, you become angry. And that anger eats you up, and it breaks you down and it infiltrates your life, and it’s really hard to find joy. And then you’ve got everybody around you going, “How could you not feel joy? Look at all the blessings. Look at all this money that you have. Look at all these opportunities that you have.”
What followed was drugs and alcohol… and some very erratic, very public behavior.
Then, about five years ago, LaBeouf quietly took charge of his own career and started picking darker, non-mainstream roles that might have appealed to his heroes—Gary Oldman, Sean Penn, and J Phoenix. Now he’s back at the top of the box office with Brad Pitt in Fury,playing a devout Christian serving in World War II.
He says the role changed him:
LaBEOUF: 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. And you can’t identify unless you’re really going through it. It’s a full-blown exchange of heart, a surrender of control. And while there’s beauty to that, acting is all about control. So that was a wild thing to navigate. I had good people around me who helped me. Brad [Pitt] was really instrumental in guiding my head through this. Brad comes from a hyper-religious, very deeply Christian, Bible Belt life, and he rejected it and moved toward an unnamed spirituality. He looked at religion like the people’s opium, almost like a Marxist view on religion. Whereas [Fury writer-director] David [Ayers] is a full subscriber to Christianity. But these two diametrically opposed positions both lead to the same spot, and I really looked up to both men.
At least he hasn’t gone the full Kirk Cameron.