Sometimes it’s tough to tell if Shia Labeouf is pulling all our legs or if he’s really that guy walking around with an unkempt beard, wearing Uggs, grabbing Alan Cumming’s ass.
But he says his recent experience in filming Fury with Brad Pitt changed him. In fact, he says, he became a Chirstian.
“I found God doing Fury,” he told Interview Magazine.
“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.”
While many news outlets are reporting that LaBeouf is now a follower of Christ, not everyone is buying it. For example, WNG, a Christian news website, is not taking LaBeouf literally on this.
“But in reading the entirety of LaBeouf’s comments in context, it becomes clear that there is another way to interpret them that isn’t quite so headline worthy. Rather than making a personal declaration of his devotion to Christ, the actor could have been merely commenting on his immersive style of acting.
“LaBeouf is a well-known method actor—a technique where the performer tries to simulate the psychological motives, behavior, mannerisms, and thought patterns of a character so deeply that he essentially becomes that character.”
So, perhaps LaBeouf’s statement should be understood to have “air quotes” around it?
Regardless of any conversion, LaBeouf admits that he has been a handful to deal with for a while, and says that multiple people have tried to talk him down, help him deal with his fame and success in a a calmer way.
“Ben Affleck [told me], ‘Keep your head on straight, kid, and don’t let all this get to you.’
“Spielberg was the next guy to try—I remember him saying to me, ‘Tom Cruise never picks his nose in public.'”