Shia LaBeouf Talked About How Being A Disney Child Star Screwed Him Up

October 30, 2019 / Posted by:

Shia LaBeouf is saying what we’ve all pretty much known and figured (see: Lindsay Lohan). Being a child Disney star is fun and makes you rich and also screws up your fragile young psyche. Cool! Mickey Mouse Club FTW! Shia starred on Even Stevens on Disney Channel as a child and that’s where he got his start. While talking on The Hollywood Reporter’s Awards Chatter podcast, Shia let us know that the money and superstardom also came with some PTSD.

When Shia was a kid, he thought that money would solve his problems and stop his parents–who divorced when he was five–from fighting. He saw working as an “opportunity to be able to minimize the drama” in his life. But bitch that’s not how Hollywood works. Drama is a huge part of it. And apparently so was money. Shia says that the reason Disney shows only last a few seasons is because they would have to give them raises and “Disney wasn’t trying to pay salaries like that.” 

After Even Stevens, Shia was lucky to still get work and did the Holes movie.  But as he got older, he became more of an asshole and angrier. Shia said he really leaned into booze, which he didn’t realize he was using to cope with all of the PTSD from his childhood. He said shit really hit the fan in Savannah, Georgia where he was filming Peanut Butter Falcon. Remember that MESSY arrest? Well, apparently we didn’t get all the details because Shia wasn’t just Hulking out, he was provoked by being “catcalled” and called a “fucking liberal”

After getting out of jail, Shia made a promise to his co-star in the movie, Zack Gottsagen, that he would complete rehab after filming. Shia said no one wanted him on set because the drunken altercation may have gotten racial, and now everyone on set thought he was a racist:

“I’m feeling like people on set think I’m a racist, no, believe I’m a racist and I’m feeling all of that and don’t want to be alive. And I’m on this set, can’t look anybody in the eyes and the only person I feel like is giving me any kind of connection non judgmentally is coming from Zack. He basically looked me in the eye and said don’t—I’m going to paraphrase—but don’t fuck this up for me, this is my only chance. I had made promises to him and talked to his parents and if you can empathize with that position where you’re looking at somebody you deeply love and had made promises to and know that he’s done everything right and that you have a disease that is going to fuck up everything and that so much is riding on this. I felt all of that.”

This was rock bottom for Shia who hasn’t had alcohol since. In therapy, he learned about how the PTSD was probably making him hit the bottle:

“It was the first time I’d been told I had PSTD. I just thought I was an alcoholic, like a true blue drunk and I needed to deal with that. I knew it was an issue but didn’t know there was this extra whole other thing that was hindering my ability to have any peace in my life and my ability to deal with people.”

All this self-reflection led to Shia writing the screenplay for Honey Boy which comes out next month.

Well there you go, Shia is now a sober man who will never get into a racial fight with a black cop again! But I guess we’ll just have to wait and find out if the alcoholism played a part in all his thought-provoking art installations, huh?


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