On June 11, 2016, Shia LaBeouf turns the big 3-0. In honor of his special day, Wonderwall.com is taking a look back at his roller coaster of a life. Spoiler alert: It's going to get weird. (The former child star claims he once watched his parents have sex and has said that his mom is hot, so, yeah). He's taken plenty of knocks over the years, but we wanted to put it all in perspective: Shia has played the lead in 14 films that have grossed — drum roll — more than $4 billion. Yeah, the kid's got some serious juice. So keep reading for Shia's rags-to-riches-to-paper-bag-over-the-head tale…
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Shia LaBeouf was born in Los Angeles in 1986 but, believe it or not, he was not the third-generation offspring of some Hollywood power family. He grew up in Echo Park — a poor neighborhood back then — with his dad, a Vietnam vet, and his mom, a dancer and artist (he's said that he was conceived in a van on Glendale Boulevard). Shia started clowning around to defuse family fights fueled by his dad's heroin addiction, and that clowning paid off early: He scored an Oreos commercial at 8 and a Disney audition at 13. The child actor soon walked away with a role in Disney's "Even Stevens."
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It didn't take long for critics and industry folks to take notice of Shia LaBeouf. He won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2003 for his work on "Even Stevens." His "Holes" co-star Jon Voight gushed that Shia had a "God-given gift." Then he was featured in "Project Greenlight," Ben Affleck and Matt Damon's reality show about filmmaking. The series, which focused on his lead role in the coming-of-age movie "The Battle of Shaker Heights," has been credited with launching Shia's career beyond the kid-sidekick level.
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Parallel to Shia LaBeouf's massive career — and widely acknowledged talent — would be a recurring theme of anger issues and strange behavior. It didn't come out of nowhere: He was in and out of reform schools as a kid, but by the 2000s, he was becoming a star. In 2005, he was arrested after he allegedly flipped out on a neighbor blocking entry to his garage: He rammed the guy's car and later waved a kitchen knife at him.
Shia LaBeouf's self-professed first love was China Brezner, the daughter of a producer on "The Greatest Game Ever Played," a 2005 golf film in which he starred. It was a brief, shining moment of young love for the rising star that he told People magazine he "never got over."
In 2007, Shia LaBeouf scored the Holy Grail of Hollywood: a franchise. But the rising star couldn't resist publicly talking smack about Michael Bay's "Transformers" series, which would make him richer than God. "None of us knew what we were doing," he told Details after the second installment, "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen," debuted in 2009. He also said that Megan Fox "felt like a prostitute" because of her newfound status as a sex symbol and then admitted that they'd hooked up during filming — while she was technically still with Brian Austin Green. (He also reportedly romanced "Revenge of the Fallen" co-star Isabel Lucas while she was in a relationship with Adrian Grenier.)
If Steven Spielberg casts you in one of his films, you're probably on the right track. (Heck, if Steven Spielberg lets you mow his lawn, you're in good shape.) Well, too bad the Oscar-winning director cast Shia LaBeouf in 2008's "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," a movie even most die-hard Indy fans wish had never been made. Though the film raked in piles of cash, Shia once again felt inclined to publicly dis his director, saying of Steven Spielberg, "I think he's a genius, and he's given me my whole life. He's done so much great work that there's no need for him to feel vulnerable about one film. But when you drop the ball, you drop the ball." Talent: Yes. Good sense: Not so much.
In July 2008, Shia LaBeouf flipped his truck when another vehicle ran a red light and collided with his while he was driving in Hollywood, California, at 3 o'clock in the morning. His "Revenge of the Fallen" co-star Isabel Lucas, who was riding in the passenger seat, wasn't hurt. But Shia's left hand was crushed so badly that, according to Entertainment Weekly, one finger had no bone left in it. (He will never fully recover from the injury.) Though he wasn't technically at fault for the accident, Shia reportedly refused to take a Breathalyzer test at the scene and was cited with a misdemeanor DUI. The charge was later dropped due to lack of evidence, but his driver license was suspended for a year because of the alcohol-test refusal.
In mid-2009, Shia LaBeouf and co-star Carey Mulligan connected off-camera while shooting "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps" in New York City. Around that time, he told Parade that his humor comes from "seeing my parents have sex, smoke weed, my mom being naked … [and] twisted R-rated humor." He also called his mother "probably the sexiest woman I know" during an interview with Playboy. "She's an ethereal angel," he said. "Nobody looks like that woman. If I could meet my mother and marry her, I would. I would be with my mother now, if she weren't my mother, as sick as that sounds." Not surprisingly, Shia's relationship with Carey came to an end after less than a year.
There's the original "Transformers" trilogy, and then there's Shia LaBeouf's original "Bar Brawl Trilogy." In February 2011, he got into a scrap at Mad Bull's Tavern in Los Angeles after he refused to take a photo with a fan. (A witness told Us Weekly that the actor got "sucker punched in the mouth" by a fellow patron.) In October 2011, he got punched to the ground by a shirtless man outside a Vancouver bar. Then in November 2012, he reportedly scuffled with a student at a London pub after the man stole his hat. Sadly, it was just a taste of things to come…
In early 2011, Shia LaBeouf connected with stylist Karolyn Pho. According to Us Weekly, their romance came to an end in late 2012. But Shia didn't stay single for long…
In late 2012, Shia LaBeouf first stepped out with "Nymphomaniac" co-star Mia Goth. Theirs would prove to be a tumultuous relationship, but more on that to come…
In 2012, Shia LaBeouf went nude in a music video/short film for Icelandic shoe-gaze band Sigur Ros. (This photo speaks for itself.) Not long after, he reportedly had sex on-camera for Lars von Trier's "Nymphomaniac" and did LSD to prepare for his role in "The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman."
Shia LaBeouf was set to make his Broadway debut opposite Alec Baldwin and Tom Sturridge in "Orphans" in the spring of 2013 but dropped out of the play that February due to "creative differences." After producers announced his departure, the volatile actor took to Twitter to share screen grabs of alleged emails between himself, his co-stars and director Daniel Sullivan — who called Alec and Shia "incompatible" — in which he apologized specifically to the "30 Rock" alum for his "part of a disagreeable situation." In a strange twist, Gawker discovered that Shia's apology was in fact a direct quote from an essay titled "What Is a Man?" that was published in Esquire's 2009 "How to Be a Man" issue. But in spite of his apology, Shia and Alec continued to feud on social media and in the press. And it wasn't the former child star's last brush with plagiarism either…
Shia LaBeouf's short film "Howard Cantour.com" debuted during the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. After it went public in late 2013, viewers noticed that the actor's directorial debut borrowed liberally from Daniel Clowes' 2007 graphic novel "Justin M. Damiano." Shia then made several public apologies for his act of plagiarism — almost all of which were copied or stolen from other famous apologies. (He also hired a skywriter to apologize to Clowes by scribing a five-mile-long sign over Los Angeles.)
In January 2014, Shia LaBeouf announced on Twitter that he intended to retire from "all public life." A month later, he attended the Berlin International Film Festival premiere of "Nymphomaniac" with a paper bag reading "I am not famous anymore" over his head. (The red carpet stunt drew comparisons to the November 2013 issue of Billboard magazine on which singer-songwriter Sia was depicted with a paper bag over her head featuring the words, in part, "This artist … doesn't want to be famous.")
Shia LaBeouf experienced a second round of public spats between late 2013 and early 2014… First, during an October 2013 night out in London, a man attacked the former child star when he started recording a woman as she vomited in the street. Then in December 2013, he got kicked out of a London restaurant after he made a fan cry and threatened to have her boyfriend killed. And in January 2014, he was caught on camera head-butting a man at a London pub.
Shia LaBeouf's career as a performance artist officially took off following his red carpet paper bag stunt. In February 2014, he launched the #IAmSorry exhibit, in which he sat silently in a room in Los Angeles with a paper bag over his head. (He later claimed that a woman raped him during the installation.) A few months later, in September 2014, he donned a colorful Spandex ensemble and ran around an Amsterdam museum 144 times as part of his #metamarathon performance piece. In January 2015, he raised eyebrows for his provocative performance opposite "Dance Moms" star Maddie Ziegler in the music video for Sia's "Elastic Heart." During SXSW 2015, he livestreamed his heartbeat as part of digital art installation #FollowMyHeart. In June 2015, he released a video of himself ranting in front of a green screen as part of the video art project #Introductions for London-based arts college Central Saint Martins. In November 2015, he spent 72 hours straight watching his entire film catalog as part of the #ALLMYMOVIES installation. In December 2015, he set up a call center in London to communicate directly with the public as part of the #TouchMySoul exhibition. In February 2016, he livestreamed himself riding up and down in a U.K. elevator for 24 hours with various groups of random people as part of the #ELEVATE performance art exhibit. And in May 2016, he launched the #TakeMeAnywhere project, in which he and his art partners hitchhiked across the country to any location their various drivers wished to take them. (The trio are chronicling their experience for a documentary.)
In June 2014, Shia LaBeouf was charged with disorderly conduct and criminal trespass after he made a scene at a Broadway production of "Cabaret" in New York City. The actor, who had been spotted drinking earlier in the day, was handcuffed and escorted out of the Studio 54 theater by police. In the wake of the arrest, the troubled star sought treatment for alcoholism. But he didn't stay out of trouble for long: In October 2015, the "Transformers" actor was handcuffed and arrested for public intoxication during a wild night out in Austin, Texas.
In June 2015, Shia LaBeouf suffered a head injury on the North Dakota set of "American Honey." The actor reportedly received 20 stitches and 13 staples after a stunt in which he smashed his head through a glass window went wrong. He also injured one of his index fingers.
In July 2015, just months after they sparked engagement rumors, Shia LaBeouf and girlfriend Mia Goth were caught on camera feuding in Germany. In the bizarre video, the actor can be seen arguing with the model-actress over a backpack and then asking a group of strangers to give him a ride to the airport. "If I'd have stayed there, I would have killed her," Shia can be heard saying of his co-star love. (He also attempts to Facetime Megan Fox in the video.) The day after the incident, Mia was reportedly spotted sporting a black eye. The duo briefly parted ways — Shia stepped out a few times with "American Honey" co-star Sasha Lane in August and September 2015 — but eventually reconciled. In March 2016, Us Weekly reported that the rekindled lovers were set to wed.