Shia LaBeouf dug deep in Esquire‘s latest cover story and revealed what drives him to do everything he does, including his decision to turn down several major movie roles.
In a self-reflective interview that spanned from his conception to the most recent events in his life, LaBeouf talked about some of his highlights, past traumas, and regrets, along with some opportunities he passed on – including The Social Network.
LaBeouf revealed that since working on the 2010 sequel to Wall Street, he pledged to go for roles that “chase sincerity,” alluding to a scene in which he was being outacted by Josh Brolin and was trying to overcompensate.
This chase for sincerity meant LaBeouf turned down roles for The Social Network, 127 Hours, and The Bourne Legacy, any of which would have made a big impact on the actor’s career.
When asked about some his outbursts and drunken tirades, LaBeouf expressed shame and regret, but he also touched upon some of the things in his past that may have driven some of those unsavory events.
LaBeouf went to rehab last fall where he was told he has PTSD, which stems from when he was around 10 years old and heard his mother being raped in their home. He froze, he said, and that has lived with him ever since, making him quick to get aggressive.
Before going to rehab, LaBeouf said he met someone who helped make him think about his life differently and put him in a better direction. LaBeouf was in Savannah working on the film The Peanut Butter Falcon. Zachary Gottsagen, the lead actor in the film, was disappointed in LaBeouf for getting arrested while the movie was being made and potentially ruining the actor’s shot.
Gottsagen, who has Down syndrome, was straight with LaBeouf, he told Esquire, and that was what he needed in that dark moment.
“To hear him say that he was disappointed in me probably changed the course of my life,” LaBeouf said. “Zack can’t not shoot straight, and bless him for it, ’cause in that moment, I needed a straight shooter who I couldn’t argue with.”