Shia LaBeouf, who has been in the spotlight for his recent arrests, says he is now a Christian man.
In a conversation published in Interview magazine, LaBeouf, 28, describes his dark childhood and the comparisons the media has made, calling him “the next Tom Hanks.” Although flattered by the connection, he rejects it, saying he’s not “cut from the same fabric. My upbringing was darker.” LaBeouf describes meeting Steven Spielberg and his advice to lighten up and laugh more. At the time, he “didn’t feel it,” but is now starting to understand Spielberg’s words.
He admits that he’s struggling with how to control his actions, behavior, words, and thoughts. His last several films have been about men who are trying to find themselves.
LaBeouf’s character in Fury is a first for him. He hadn’t yet portrayed a religious man in any of his roles. LaBeouf looked to Brad Pitt, who stars as the commander of LaBeouf’s squadron, and writer/director David Ayers for religious inspiration and direction. Brad Pitt is a non-theist, while Ayers is a Christian. He became fascinated with their thinking and it ultimately changed his views on Christianity:
“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. It was nice to have conversations with Brad about the family he came from and what he was using to get through the day.”
But is this method acting? Religion News Service writer Laura Turner is questioning Shia LaBeouf’s beliefs.
Shia LaBeouf is known for his roles in the Transformers franchise, the Even Stevens TV series, and Disturbia.