The two stars eventually did pair up in the forthcoming Lawless, which is generating lots of buzz at the Cannes Film Festival this week.
At a hotel along the Croisette, E! News caught up today with LaBeouf, who talked about the wonderful experience he and Hardy shared while filming the project. The Prohibition-era drama finds the two playing bootlegging brothers who become outlaw heroes after they refuse to let local authorities in on their profits.
"I wrote Hardy a fan letter. He wrote back a letter saying, 'Thank you, what are you doing, what are you working on, what are you reading?' We sent each other our scripts that we had been reading [and] he liked this," Shia told E! News referring to how they came to costar in Lawless.
The 25-year-old LaBeouf added that the admiration he shared for the 34-year-old Hardy's work was one of the main reasons they clicked so well playing siblings Jack and Forrest Bondurant.
"When you think about it, my character is a fan of his brother," said the thesp. "Forrest is the leader of the family; he's the shot-caller essentially…there's a lot of similarities in my dichotomy with Tom in my life and Jack and Forrest."
For LaBeouf, the fraternal relationship he and Tom had in the movie translated into a similar situation in real life that challenged him professionally.
"I look up to Tom as an actor, and I respect him as an actor. He has a different appetite for being a method actor than I do," said the Transformers star. "But I tried it his way and it seemed to work out, and I learned a lot from Tom, not without truly familial brotherly moments in every sense of the word. I felt like the dude is my brother and I like him like a brother."
Something tells us Shia's going to be the first in line to see his role model play Bane when The Dark Knight Rises, the summer's most anticipated film, unspools on July 20.
As for Lawless, following its world premiere of the Cannes Film Festival, the John Hillcoat-helmed crime flick is scheduled to open in general release on Aug. 31.