“My world had collapsed,” Shia LaBeouf said of a period in his life not long ago, which involved car accidents, court-ordered rehabilitation, emotional outbursts — including the disruption of Broadway’s Cabaret starring Emma Stone – as well as downright violent episodes and a lawsuit from him baby boy co-star FKA Twigs accuses the actor of sexual assault and assault. The case will go to court in April.
On that long list of life lessons was his resignation from Olivia Wilde’s buzzy don’t worry baby. Wilde first spoke about the decision this week in an interview with Variety.
“I say this as someone who is such an admirer of his work,” she said. “His process was not conducive to the ethos I demand in my productions. He has a process that in some ways seems to require a combative energy, and I personally don’t believe that is conducive to the best performance.”
LaBeouf has since admitted in an interview that he needed friction and conflict to fuel his performances. It also nearly drove him out of the industry.
“Right now I’m nuclear,” LaBeouf recalled in the interview about that time.” Nobody wants to talk to me, not even my mother. My manager doesn’t call. The agent doesn’t call. I am no longer associated with the company.”
At that point, he hinted, he was ready to commit suicide.
“I had a gun on the table. I was out of here,” he said in the aforementioned YouTube interview with Robert Barron, Bishop of Word on Fire Catholic Ministries. “I didn’t want to be alive when all this happened. Shame like I’ve never experienced before – the kind of shame that makes you forget to breathe. You don’t know where to go. You can’t go out and get a taco.”
LaBeouf said his life had been saved, that he had reached the other side of that dark period as a result of his conversion to Roman Catholicism, which itself was prompted by research to play the titular character in Abel Ferrera’s upcoming film about the controversial 20th century monk, Father Pio. The film will have its world premiere in competition in Venice via Giornate degli Autori, the parallel sidebar of the fest.
The actor revealed that the genesis of the project met Ferrara at a Zoom meeting for a “spiritual program” to which they both attribute.
“I’m in this spiritual program. We have meetings. And another person who was at these meetings was Abel Ferrera.”
The actor continued: “He wrote to me in the chat box: ‘Do you know Padre Pio?'”
LaBeouf says the result is that he has been able to let go of what he calls “old me” and see that “my life had resulted in severe pain and harm to other people.”
He even says of the person he calls “the woman who accused me of all this” that while “I wanted to go on Twitter and write all these things… I wanted to justify and explain all this. Now I see that … The woman saved my life. She was a saint in my life. She saved my life.”