Shia LaBeouf has had a rough go the last few years. Apart from the drunken arrests, the accusations of plagiarism, the strange red-carpet behaviour (remember when he wore a paper bag on his head?), and his attempts at performance art, the actor has also been involved in some dark and disturbing incidents.
His ex-girlfriend, singer FKA Twigs, has accused him of “sexual assault and battery,” and has filed suit against him (the trial is set for 2023), in addition to his high-profile dismissal from Olivia Wilde’s upcoming directorial effort Don’t Worry Darling, which stars her boyfriend, pop star Harry Styles (who ultimately replaced Shia). Now, the Transformers star has revealed just how dark his life has become, and he pulls no punches.
“My world had crumbled,” he told Bishop Robert Barron on the latest episode of the "Word on Fire" YouTube series, referencing that time period when his reputation and career stalled.
“At this point I’m nuclear,” he continued. ”Nobody wants to talk to me, including my mother. My manager’s not calling. The agent’s not calling. I’m not connected to the business anymore.”
That’s when he admits that he has suicide ideation and thoughts of self-harm.
“I had a gun on the table. I was outta here,” he revealed. “I didn’t want to be alive anymore when all this happened. Shame like I had never experienced before — the kind of shame that you forget how to breathe. You don’t know where to go. You can’t go outside and get a taco.”
“But I was also in this deep desire to hold on,” he added.
Shia’s admission of owning a firearm is telling, considering FKA Twigs, in her description of his abuse, assault, battery, and mental anguish inflicted upon her, revealed that Shia not only kept a gun in the home they shared, but he also shot stray dogs to “get into character” for his role in The Tax Collector.
While the Nymphomaniac actor has previously denied any wrongdoing, he seemingly referencing FKA Twigs and her lawsuit, telling Bishop Barron, “the woman who accused me of all this … I wanted to go on Twitter and write all these things ... I wanted to justify all this and explain. Now I see that ... the woman saved my life. She was, for me, a saint in my life. She saved my life."
Shia, who will appear in Abel Ferrara’s upcoming movie Padre Pio, admitted that in researching his role, he found salvation through Catholicism. "The reach-out had happened. I was already there, I had nowhere to go,” he said. “This was the last stop on the train. There was nowhere else to go – in every sense.”
“I know now that God was using my ego to draw me to Him. Drawing me away from worldly desires. It was all happening simultaneously. But there would have been no impetus for me to get in my car, drive up [to the monastery] if I didn’t think, ‘Oh, I’m gonna save my career.’”
His admission comes on the heels of Olivia Wilde telling Variety the full reason why she sacked the actor from the upcoming Don’t Worry Darling and recast his role with Harry Styles. “I say this as someone who is such an admirer of his work,” she began. “His process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions. He has a process that, in some ways, seems to require a combative energy, and I don’t personally believe that is conducive to the best performances. I believe that creating a safe, trusting environment is the best way to get people to do their best work. Ultimately, my responsibility is to the production and to the cast to protect them. That was my job.”
Seemingly referencing Shia's actions and FKA Twigs, she continued. “A lot came to light after this happened that really troubled me, in terms of his behaviour. I find myself just really wishing him health and evolution because I believe in restorative justice. But for our film, what we really needed was an energy that was incredibly supportive. Particularly with a movie like this, I knew that I was going to be asking Florence to be in very vulnerable situations, and my priority was making her feel safe and making her feel supported.”
Previously, Olivia had revealed she has a "no assholes" policy she demands on her movie sets. She described the policy during a Directors on Directors chat as such: "The no assholes policy, it puts everybody on the same level." She went on to explain that it removes any "hierarchy" on set that actors might bestow upon themselves, and puts everyone on the same playing field.
Shia has since disputed Olivia’s version of events, writing an email to Variety that purports he “quit the film due to lack of rehearsal time” and shared text messages sent between him and Olivia in 2020 that he says supports his claim that he was not fired. He also showed Variety videos she sent him where she seems to ask him to stay on the production after he allegedly quit, and asks for him to make peace with “Miss Flo” which is understood to be actress Florence Pugh who stars in the film.
Don’t Worry Darling opens September 23.