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Who is Shia LaBeouf?

Shia LaBeouf

Shia Saide LaBeouf is an American Actor, performance artist and Filmmaker. Like many young entertainers, Shia Saide LaBeouf comes from a Showbiz family. He was born on June 11, 1986, in Los Angeles, California, USA, the only child of Jeffrey and Shayna LaBeouf. LaBeouf grew up poor in Echo Park, a Los Angeles neighborhood riddled with street crime and gang violence. He attended a school made up largely of Latinos and African Americans. The LaBeouf family never had much moneyhis parents worked sporadically. LaBeof has often joked that he is from a long line of artists who never quite made it. His heroin-addicted Cajun father sometimes worked as a rodeo clown or a comedian. He also sold snow cones and toured with the Doobie Brothers, a popular rock group from the 1970s. LaBeouf’s Jewish mother, Shayna, was a ballerina. Forced to give up dancing due to an injury, she became a visual artist and jewelry designer. Speaking to Time’s Rebecca Winters Keegan, LaBeouf described his parents as old hippies. “They’re not really worker bees. They’re artists who just didn’t have enough bureaucrat in them to get it all wrapped up in a nice little package to be able to feed to the American Public.” 

Alongside his father, LaBeouf spent his childhood watching Steve McQueen movies and going to Rolling Stones concerts. He also attended AA meetings, where he began smoking and playing cards at ten. Eventually, LaBeouf’s parents divorced and the family’s money situation worsened. Fed up with being poor, LaBeouf wondered how he could earn some money. One day at the beach, he admired a friend’s surf gear and found out the youth was an actor. “He always had the coolest stuff,” LaBeouf told Los Angeles Times writer Susan King. “His mom drove a nice car. He had a nice watch and nice clothing. He always had a nice surfboard.”After the friend told LaBeouf that he made his money appearing on Dr. Quinn, Medicine Woman, LaBeouf decided to become an actor. LaBeouf makes it clear that he pursued acting only for the money. “It wasn’t about art,” he told USA Today’s Scott Bowles. “It was about making money to get somewhere and be somebody.” 

Taking matters into his own hands, LaBeouf flipped through the Yellow Pages looking for an agent. When he got Teresa Valente on the phone, LaBeouf pretended to be a middle-aged talent manger from Europe, representing England’s best up-and-coming talent, Valente knew she was talking to a child but was nonetheless intrigued. She was used to parents calling, insisting their kids needed representation because they were the next big thing; she never had a child call before. So, Valente took a chance on LaBeouf. She paid for head shots and toted him to audition after audition. By this time, LaBeouf’s father, a Vietnam vet, was stuck in a VA hospital, struggling through withdrawal. LaBeouf joined an improve group and tried his hand at standup. He had already been doing a comedy routine at some local nightspots. LaBeouf’s routine was always the same. He went onstage looking young and innocent, wearing overalls and a bowl haircut. But then he spoke, channeling an irritable, foulmouthed 50 year-old through his childish body. 

Shia LaBeouf‘s offcolor humor shocked audiences. He continued to audition for bit parts and landed appearances on the situation comedy Suddenly Susa, the family drama Touched by an Angel, the FOX hit The X-Files, and the NBC drama ER. At 13, LaBeouf secured a starring role on the Disney family comedy Even Stevens. The Show, which first aired in 2000, followed the sibling rivalry between class clown Louis Stevensplayed by LaBeouf- and his older, perfectionist sister, Ren, played by Christy Carison Romano. Labeouf’s steady performance as Louis earned him a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Performer in a Children’s Series. The Show folded in 2003, but that year LaBeouf made a jump to the big screen, playing supporting roles alongside some of Hollywood’s biggest stars. He appeared in Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd and Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. LaBeouf’s breakout role for 2003, however, was the Disney feature Holes, based on the bestselling teen novel by Louis Sachar. In the film, LaBeouf played Stanley Yelnats. 

As a juvenile wrongly accused of a crime, Stanley is sent to a detention camp in Texas where kids are mysteriously forced to dig five-foot-deep holes all day, every day. On the set, LaBeouf befriended veteran actor Jon Voight- father of actress Angelina Jolie- who played one of the camp warden’s assistants. Voight coached LaBeouf on his acting and got him to realize that he should look for fulfillment from the work, not just a paycheck. Holes made $67 million and Director Andrew Davis credited LaBeouf with its success. As LaBeouf moved into the spotlight, he carefully guarded his image and told the Orange County Register’s Barry Koltnow that he planned to avoid the pitfalls many young actors fall into. “To not party is part of the plan. I have made a calculated effort to stay away from the party scene because that can have as much impact on your career as your performances. If the industry takes you lightly because you’re partying, then they will take your work lightly as well.” To stay out of trouble, LaBeouf spends his free time attending Dodgers ouf does admit to one bad habit, smoking, and reports often note another, cussing. The Brown-eyed, lanky-framed LaBeouf appeared opposite Will Smith in 2004s I, Robot and with Keanu Reeves in 2005’s Constantine. Disney banking on LaBeouf’s popularity, snapped him up for the lead role in another project. The Greatest Game Ever Played. The film released in 2005, is a biographical picture that follows the real-life tale of underdog golfer Francis Ouimet as he competes in the 1913 U.S.

 In 2006, LaBeouf appeared in writer-director Dito Montiel’s A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, an in-die film about how a would-be-gangster escapes street life in Queens, New York. That year, LaBeouf also appeared alongside Anthony Hopkins in Bobby, a fictionalized account that revisits the 1968 assassination of Robert F. Kennedy. In a complete change of pace, LaBeouf also starred in the Michael Bay sci-fi thriller Transformers, based on the popular 1980s Hasbro action figures. LaBeouf played Sam Witwicky, a teenager whose Yellow Camaro transforms into an Autobot named Bumblebee from the planet Cybertron. Unwittingly, LaBeouf’s Character finds himself at the center of a feud between some warring alien robots. LaBeouf’s biggest success that year, however, was the D.J. Caruso-directed film Disturbia. In this Hitchcockian-themed film, LaBeouf played a depressed, rough-around-the-edges teen named Kale who gets in a tussle with a teacher and ends up sentenced to house arrest. 

Kale- forced to live with a transmitter on his ankle that alerts police if he leaves his homegets cabin fever and begins spying on his neighbors. He comes to believe one of them is a serial killer. The film surprised Hollywood its first weekend when it brought in $22 million in ticket sales to open at No. 1 at the box office. The same weekend Disturbia opened, LaBeouf conquered another Hollywood milestone- he hosted Saturday Night Live. “I’m very fortunate,” LaBeouf told Bob Strauss of the Daily News of Los Angele. “When you start this business, the pinnacles are meeting Spielberg, working with Scorsese, winning an Oscar, doing Saturday Night Live, things like that. And, at 20, some of those things are off my list. It’s jarring, it’s very weird.” Soon after the release of his 2007 films, LaBeouf was back in front of the camera, this time working for Spielberg, who cast the young hotshot actor in the fourth Indiana Jones installment. It was rumored that LaBeouf would play Harrison Ford’s son in the film. The much-anticipated sequel was scheduled for the release in 2008. 

As for the future of his career, LaBeouf told the Hollywood Reporter’s Marmo that he plans to continue choosing films in various genres so he does not get typecast. “I want to do drama and comedy. I want to do all of it because that’s human. People are funny, and they’re not funny, and they’re dramatic and confused. If I was just to play one emotion my whole career. I wouldn’t have a very long career. My whole goal is longevitynot necessarily fame and stardom. I want to be working until I’m 70. I want to be Michael Caine. And the only way I can be Michael Caine is to do everything and not do the same thing back-to-back.”

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