Shia LaBeouf (born on June 11, 1986) is an American actor
and former comedian. After growing up in California, Shia LaBeouf became known
with a starring role in the Disney Channel series Even Stevens. Shia made the
transition to film roles with Holes, a box office success, and has subsequently
appeared in several Hollywood films, including The Greatest Game Ever Played. In
2007 & 2008, LaBeouf is scheduled to star in several films, beginning with
Disturbia, Transformers, and Indiana Jones 4. Several media publications have
written that LaBeouf may become a major film star during the course of 2007.
Shia was born in Los Angeles, California, the only child of Jeffrey LaBeouf,
a former mime and circus and rodeo clown who "drifted" from job to job, and
Shayna Saide, a dancer and ballerina turned visual artist; his maternal
grandfather was a comedian who worked in the Borscht Belt of the Catskill
Mountains. Shia has said that he comes from "five generations of performers" and
was "acting when I came out of the womb". LaBeouf's father is a Cajun (once
described by LaBeouf as a "Ragin' Cajun") and his mother is Jewish, and Shia was
raised in the Jewish religion and became a Bar Mitzvah. LaBeouf has described
his parents as "hippies", his father as "tough as nails and a different breed of
man", and his upbringing as similar to a "hippy lifestyle", stating that his
parents were "pretty weird people, but they loved me and I loved them".
LaBeouf's father used to grow cannabis, and the two had smoked marijuana
together when LaBeouf was ten. LaBeouf has also said that his father was "on
drugs" during his childhood, being addicted to heroin and placed in rehab, while
his mother was "trying to hold down the fort". Shia LaBeouf's parents eventually
divorced and he had what he has said was a "good childhood", growing up poor
with his mother (who worked selling fabrics and brooches) in Echo Park, Los
Angeles, California, and attending a predominantly Latino and African-American
Shia would "create things, story lines and fictitious tales" during his childhood, and subsequently practiced stand-up comedy around his neighborhood, as an "escape" from a hostile environment. He began performing stand-up and "talking dirty" at comedy clubs (including the The Ice House in Los Angeles) at the age of ten (describing his appeal as having "disgustingly dirty" material and a "50-year-old mouth on the 10-year-old kid"), and found himself an agent through the Yellow Pages, being taken on after doing his stand-up act for her.
Shia has said that he initially became an actor because his family was "broke", not because he wanted to pursue an acting career. Shia LaBeouf became well known among young audiences after playing Louis Stevens in the Disney Channel weekly program Even Stevens, a role in which he was cast three months after being signed by his agent. Shia LaBeouf father, at the time just released from rehab, served as his on-set parent and the two bonded. Shia was awarded a Daytime Emmy Award for the role and has said that he "grew up on that show" and that his childhood was "kind of lost", although his being cast in the show was the "best thing" that has happened to him. During this time period, Shia also appeared in sketch shows on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. In 2003, he appeared in another Disney production, Holes as Stanley "Caveman" Yelnats IV, opposite actors Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight, and Tim Blake Nelson. The film was a box office success. That same year, he was heavily featured on the HBO documentary show "Project Greenlight", which chronicled the making of the independent film "The Battle of Shaker Heights". In 2005, Shia LaBeouf appeared in the horror film Constantine, opposite Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz. He also had a small role in I, Robot (2004). In 2006, he appeared in the ensemble film drama Bobby, which called for him to do his first nude scene when he strips naked while on an LSD trip. LaBeouf has said that he chose to appear in some of his film roles in order to "curse as much as possible" and "age himself publicly" after his Disney roles, specifying that Disney is "great and all" and a "nurturing place"but "dehabilitating for an actor", being "one constant string of same". Shia LaBeouf has also said that he "enjoyed" being a child actor and "hated" school.
Shia in Disturbia, 2007LaBeouf's most recent role is in Disturbia, a thriller released on April 13, 2007. In the film, he plays a teenager under house arrest who suspects that his neighbor is a murderer. Shia LaBeouf received positive reviews for the role, with the Buffalo News stating that LaBeouf "has grown into an appealing, bright young actor who is able to simultaneously pull off the character's anger, remorse and intelligence", Kurt Loder of MTV writing that LaBeouf "gets his star ticket decisively punched", and the San Francisco Chronicle noting that LaBeouf is "fast becoming the best young actor in Hollywood". In comparing the film with Rear Window, The New York Daily News described LaBeouf's appeal as "more John Cusack than Jimmy Stewart". Also in 2007, LaBeouf will provide a voice role in the animated film Surf's Up and play a teenager who uncovers a robot invasion of Earth in director Michael Bay's Transformers, scheduled to be released on July 4, 2007. LaBeouf has said that he is a fan of The Transformers television series and the 1986 The Transformers: The Movie, and that Disturbia was the most important film to him of the three, because it is a "character-driven" role.
LaBeouf presented an award at the Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards on March 31, 2007, appeared on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno on April 2, 2007, and hosted Saturday Night Live on April 14, 2007. Also in 2007, he was named the "star of tomorrow" by the ShoWest convention of the National Association of Theater Owners. In April 2007, LaBeouf was officially cast to appear in Indiana Jones IV, scheduled to begin filming in June of 2007 for a May 22, 2008 release date.
Shia attended 32nd Street Visual and Performing Arts Magnet in Los Angeles (LAUSD) and Alexander Hamilton High School, although he received most of his education from tutors. Shia LaBeouf bought his own house at the age of eighteen, remains close to both his parents and lives in Burbank, California with his father. He was accepted into Yale University, but declined, later stating that he is "getting the kind of education you don't get at school", although he would like to attend college. LaBeouf has been a smoker since the age of ten, drives a Nissan, has two dogs, and has said that "sports is so big in my life"and that he is a "film junkie". Shia LaBeouf enjoys the music of The Shins and the hip-hop label Definitive Jux.
Shia has cited actors Dustin Hoffman, Jodie Foster, Jon Voight and John Turturro as inspirations, and has said that he is "very serious" about his career and has made "a calculated effort to stay away from the party scene", stating that he believes "if the industry takes you lightly because you're always partying, then they will take your work lightly as well". Interviewer Jamie Portman of The Vancouver Sun described LaBeouf as seeming to have a "love-hate relationship with the teenage culture that has spawned him".
Shia has said that although he does not devoutly practice Judaism, he has a "personal relationship with God that happens to work within the confines of Judaism".
This Shia LaBeouf Biography Page is Copyright Biography World © 2004 - 2010