The shady side of Shia LaBeouf

Shia LaBeouf's career has been a roller coaster that never seems to stop, surprising everyone with sudden twists and turns. The actor got his big break in 2000 with a role in Disney's Even Stevens, which lasted 3 seasons. By 2007, he was a bonafide A-lister, thanks to his starring role in Michael Bay's over-the-top Transformers franchise.

Rising to the top meant more cameras were on the Los Angeles-born entertainer, and the fame engulfed him into, well, somewhat of a monster at times. "I wish I prepared for these things," LaBeouf told the Los Angeles Times in 2012 during a red carpet event. "And I don't, which is probably the downfall of my career." However, although the Honey Boy actor is known to be unpredictable and unstable, he's also done some pretty cool stuff, too. In 2016, LaBeouf, along with Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner, took on an experimental documentary project where, for 30 days, they "[hitchhiked] the internet." Per Vice, the trio would "tweet their GPS coordinates, and whoever found them first, could take them wherever they wanted. The final project became the documentary #TAKEMEANYWHERE, which portrayed a different, much more open side to the turbulent actor.

While these days, LaBeouf seems to have calmed down (partly due to his new friend and The Peanut Butter Falcon co-star, Zack Gottsagen), there was a time when the American Honey star was doing some pretty questionable stuff. Let's look at the shady side of Shia LaBeouf.

Shia LaBeouf lied his way into his first acting gig

Shia LaBeouf was raised by a family of entertainers. From Dazed's interview with the celeb, the outlet writes that LaBeouf was "born poor in Echo Park, LA," with his father a "mime and a clown, [and] his mother a ballerina-turned-visual-artist who worked several jobs." Although that looks like an environment that would only cause the future celeb to flourish creatively, the Transformers star told the mag that his father was a part of a "toxic" biker gang, ending up in jail and in and out of the house.

Speaking to GQ, LaBeouf revealed that when he was around nine years old, "his father disappeared for a few years," leaving his mom to enroll him in the Big Brother program. Getting paired with a stuntman, LaBeouf would go to film sets — which is where he decided he wanted to become a "big star." By the time he was 11, the Fury star picked up a phone and called an agent out of the Yellow Pages, raving about "the phenomenal Shia LaBeouf," adding that he's "big in England." While the woman knew he was lying, she signed him regardless, "paid for his rent and his headshots" — and got him his first gig on Even Stevens.

While he certainly got a lucky break, perhaps lying your way into your job isn't the best way to go? It's a problem that LaBeouf has run into before — but more on that soon.

Where does Shia LaBeouf's aggressive streak come from?

Considering his father was in and out his life growing up, the times Shia LaBeouf did spend with him meant that the young actor saw all kinds of volatile incidents. In fact, when LaBeouf got his role on Even Stevens, he needed adult supervision on set as he was a minor. According to GQ, LaBeouf hired his father, and the two stayed in a "$60 a night hotel called the Motel Vista for three years." As the actor went on to explain, "I remember my dad would get in fights with a pimp who had his prostitute next door. And he was trying to taser the guy because he wouldn't pay one of his prostitutes. My dad was a hothead back then."

Unfortunately for LaBeouf, it looks like he may have inherited his dad's wild side. In the same GQ profile, the outlet writes that when the Honey Boy star was 19, "a neighbor ... insulted his mother and rear-ended her car," causing LaBeouf to get "a knife, [bring] a friend for backup, and [go] to the guy's apartment, where he wound up getting jumped by the guy and six of his friends."

In the end, LaBeouf knows his upbringing was rocky. "I come from drama," the star admitted to Dazed. "I come from fu**ing joylessness, I come from three people in a fu**ing room trying to be everything to each other. And we just couldn't do it."

He's been arrested for drunk driving

Shia LaBeouf has spent a lot of time in the tabloids throughout his career — and it hasn't been in the most flattering light. Point in case: His drunk driving bust. Per Today, the American Honey star was arrested in 2008 after an early morning car crash that left LaBeouf with a hand and knee injury. According to authorities, "his pickup collided with another vehicle" in West Hollywood causing his car to roll over. "It was immediately apparent to officers responding on the scene that LaBeouf was intoxicated and he was subsequently placed under arrest," Sgt. Scott Wolf revealed to the outlet. Luckily for LaBeouf, he was "released for a misdemeanor DUI."

The incident wasn't the only time LaBeouf was intoxicated in public, either. The year prior, the actor also had a drunken altercation with guards at a Walgreens in Chicago. Per Today, the celeb was being disruptive in the drugstore, refusing to leave after being asked by security "several times." After the police got involved, LaBeouf was "cited on a misdemeanor count of trespassing."

Perhaps what's been the most concerning aspect of LaBeouf's behavior is his light-hearted mentality to otherwise fairly uncomfortable situations. "I went nuts," the actor joked on The Late Show with David Letterman after the incident. "I got really wasted ... I wound up celebrating in Walgreens." He then went on, "Drinking and driving is one thing, but drinking and shopping ... [that's] just as bad."

Steven Spielberg wasn't a fan of Shia LaBeouf's raw honesty

Considering his relationship with the press isn't always flattering, should Shia LaBeouf perhaps consider keeping some of his personal comments to himself?

After the long-awaited Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull came out starring LaBeouf as Harrison Ford's son, it wasn't well-received by long-time fans of the series. Well, the Los Angeles-born star decided to take it upon himself to be brutally honest with the media — even if it offended the movie's director, Steven Spielberg. "I feel like I dropped the ball on the legacy that people loved and cherished," LaBeouf told the Los Angeles Times. "We [Harrison Ford and LaBeouf] had major discussions. He wasn't happy with it either. Look, the movie could have been updated. There was a reason it wasn't universally accepted." Yikes. When the mag asked the actor if he thinks his words will hurt Spielberg, LaBeouf bluntly said, "He needs to hear this. I love him. I love Steven. I have a relationship with Steven that supersedes our business work."

So, what was Spielberg's reaction? Well, besides cutting LaBeouf out of the 5th installment of the beloved series, according to The Hollywood Reporter LaBeouf claims his comments ruined his relationship with the director. "He told me there's a time to be a human being and have an opinion, and there's a time to sell cars. It brought me freedom, but it also killed my spirits because this was a dude I looked up to like a sensei."

Shia LaBeouf has an international passport of bar brawls

Shia LaBeouf's alcohol problem hasn't only resulted in DUIs, it's also disrupted multiple nights out for the actor, too. In October 2011, the Transformers star was involved in a huge bar fight in Vancouver, as revealed by RadarOnline. "He got into a confrontation with a couple of people," a witness dished to the goss rag. "He took a few punches to the face. He was obviously pretty intoxicated," they explained, adding that after LaBeouf and another patron were kicked out, the actor got knocked to the ground with "at least three punches."

A few months earlier, TMZ released information that LaBeouf was in another brawl, this time in Sherman Oaks, Calif., also getting punched in the face — and ending up in handcuffs. By 2014, the Lawless actor traveled internationally for yet another duel, this time headbutting a man in a London pub. As TMZ revealed, LaBeouf was in a "pretty rough part of town" in South London. The worst part? There's a whole video of the incident.

It looks like by 2019, the actor has his wits about him much more. "I'm just smiling a lot more," LaBeouf told the Variety podcast The Big Ticket. "I've gotten softer, things have calmed down." Thank goodness.

In a relationship? Not a problem for Shia LaBeouf

Shia LaBeouf's issues with alcohol and his sometimes-too-candid demeanor aren't the only shady aspects of the actor's personality. In 2011, LaBeouf revealed some juicy goss to Details (via CBS News), claiming that he hooked up with Transformers co-star Megan Fox. The issue? She may have been in a relationship with her boyfriend at the time and now-husband, Brian Green. "Look, you're on the set for six months, with someone who's rooting to be attracted to you, and you're rooting to be attracted to them," the celeb bluntly revealed. When asked if his former co-star was with Green, LaBeouf deflected with, "I don't know, man. I don't know. I don't know. I don't know," adding that, "It was what it was." The timing of the scuttlebutt was horrible, according to Hollywood Life, which reported that Fox and Green were separated at the time, but still trying to work things out.

It turns out, Fox wasn't the only starlet with wandering eyes when it came to LaBeouf. According to The Hollywood Reporter, in that same Details interview that LaBeouf gave, the actor also admitted to hooking up with his Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen co-star Isabel Lucas, while she was in a relationship with Adrien Grenier. Oh, boy.

We suppose LaBeouf did warn the world about his infatuations. In 2008, the celeb told GQ, "Oh, I've been in love with every woman I've ever worked with." Can't say he didn't tell us so.

Shia LaBeouf was actually tripping while shooting a movie

Maybe it's a case of serious method acting, but it can certainly come across as insane. In 2014, Shia LaBeouf's The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman costar, Rupert Grint, revealed to The Guardian that to get into the role of a character high on LSD, LaBeouf actually took the powerful hallucinogen. "He smashed the place up, got naked and kept seeing this owl. If anything will make you not do drugs, it's watching that."

If Grint's story comes as a surprise, it's actually not the only time LaBeouf has taken a role too seriously for some. Speaking with Dazed, the actor admitted to some of the bold things he did for his role in the drama-action flick, Fury. "Fury is the most meat I've ever had to chew on ... the day after I got the job, I joined the US National Guard. I was baptized –- accepted Christ in my heart –- tattooed my surrender and became 
a chaplain's assistant to Captain Yates for the 41st Infantry." As the surreal retelling goes on, "I spent a month living on a forward operating base. Then I linked up with my cast and went to Fort Irwin. I pulled my tooth out, knifed my face up and spent days watching horses die. 
I didn't bathe for four months."

So, did LaBeouf's methods pay off? Fury was generally well-received. As for his movie with Grint? Let's just say, not so much.

He plagiarized others time and time again

In 2013, Shia LaBeouf released his self-directed, "self-penned" short film, HowardCantour.com. Per IndieWire, the celeb showcased his flick at the Cannes Film Festival, with the reviews generally positive. As the outlet wrote, "LaBeouf's memorable short is ultimately a surprisingly successful movie on the experience of watching a movie that should only serve to encourage LaBeouf to further test the directorial waters." Good, right?

Well, LaBeouf didn't exactly get to bask in any sort of success, as Buzzfeed broke the news that the movie was "almost a direct adaptation of Justin M. Damiano, a 2007 comic written and drawn by famed artist Daniel Clowes. The outlet reported: "Nowhere in the promotion for, or credits of the film does LaBeouf mention the Clowes comic; Eric Reynolds, longtime editor of Clowes' comics and associate publisher at Fantagraphics, called the film 'shameless theft!'" Uh-oh.

If you think it can't get worse — it absolutely does. LaBeouf tweeted out apologies, yet those were copied, too. As Wired reported, the star's tweet on plagiarism actually plagiarized a post on Yahoo! Answers from years prior. It makes us wonder if LaBeouf was being intentional in all his actions as the actor then followed up with another tweet — this time posting a photo that allegedly mocked Clowes and reproduced even more of his work. The result? A cease and desist letter from the novelist's legal team that LaBeouf (of course) shared as well. Oh, Shia.

Hannibal Lecter? No, it's Shia LaBeouf

In June 2014, Shia LaBeouf found himself having an extremely bizarre end to the month — one that resulted in the actor showing quite the resemblance to a certain character in The Silence of the Lambs.

Page Six originally reported that LaBeouf began a public tirade by chasing a homeless man around Times Square in New York City, demanding his paper McDonald's bag be handed over to him. "He really wanted whatever was in that bag. He had so much focus ... If there were French fries in the bag, maybe he really wanted to eat them," a witness explained to the outlet. A few hours after that incident, the same outlet reported another incident in which Nymphomaniac star then went to the Broadway Cabaret musical, where he "was slapping people on the behind and in the back of the head while smoking," inside the theatre. As cops came to escort the star, he was "incoherent" and "very agitated," resulting in being hauled outside in handcuffs. The kicker? The actor was also muzzled with a mask for spitting too much at the officers.

Only a few days later, TMZ reported that the actor got in trouble yet again, this time getting himself banned from The Local Peasant in Sherman Oaks, Calif. after getting up in the middle of his 4-hour visit to go to the parking lot in the back of the restaurant and urinate on their wall. Weird, but okay.

He suffered a traumatizing incident he could have stopped

In 2014, in order to apologize to the masses for his highly-publicized plagiarism incident, Shia LaBeouf created a performance art piece called #IAMSORRY, where he sat in a room with a paper bag over his head and invited the public to come in one by one.

As writer Ryan Sandoval of Time wrote, when he went inside, he was asked to choose an item on a table. He then explained, "The options: a whip, pliers, a bowl of Hershey kisses, a copy of Daniel Clowes' Death Ray, a pink ukulele, a bottle of Brut cologne, an Optimus Prime toy (get it?) and a bowl of about 100 paper slips bearing typed messages." It seems pretty harmless, besides the whip, right?

Well, not quite. In an interview with Dazed months later, the actor made a horrifying claim. "One woman who came with her boyfriend, who was outside the door when this happened, whipped my legs for ten minutes and then stripped my clothing and proceeded to rape me." He continued, "On top of that my girl was in line to see me ... it really hurt her as well, as I guess the news of it traveled through the line. When she came in she asked for an explanation, and I couldn't speak, so we both sat with this unexplained trauma silently."

The scenario raises all kind of questions, first and foremost: Is it true? And if so, why didn't LaBeouf stop it? 

Shia LaBeouf's most shocking incident was chalked up to 'white privilege'

July 2017 saw Shia LaBeouf completely out of control and in an incident that's downright disturbing. As TMZ reported, the Disturbia star was seen walking in Georgia when he stopped two people for a cigarette. When the first person said no, LaBeouf unleashed a verbal tirade "in front of women and kids." The other person to deny him? A police officer. LaBeouf then reportedly "ran to a nearby hotel" to evade arrest, which ended up happening "in the lobby."

It then gets worse. After his arrest, LaBeouf was placed in the backseat of the car and was filmed yelling obscenities at two cops. As The Telegraph published, LaBeouf got particularly lippy with the black police officer, going on a racist rant. "You've got a president who don't give a s**t about you and you're stuck in a police force that don't give a f**k about you. So you want to arrest white people who give a f**k-, who ask for cigarettes?" Yikes. The actor was later bailed out, but the moment left a very uncomfortable mark on his career.

A year later, LaBeouf finally spoke out about the incident in an interview with Esquire. "What went on in Georgia was mortifying. White privilege and desperation and disaster... It came from a place of self-centered delusion ... It was me trying to absolve myself of guilt." He then finally admitted, "I fu**ed up."