Content warning: This story discusses abuse and suicide.
Shia LaBeouf is getting candid about his spiritual journey.
In 90-minute interview with Bishop Robert Barron for his Word on Fire YouTube series, the Transformers alum opened up about how a dark time in his life led him to reexamine his faith. Explaining how he was "never an atheist" and had always considered himself to be an agnostic who "liked to argue," LaBeouf recalled turning to religion when he felt like his "life was on fire."
"I was walking out of hell. It wasn't like I willingly came in here on a white horse, singing showtunes," he told Barron. "I didn't want to be an actor anymore and my life was a mess."
Admitting that he had "hurt a lot of people" in the past, the actor remembered feeling a "deep shame" that made him contemplate suicide. "I had a gun on the table. I was outta here," he shared. "I didn't want to be alive anymore when all this happened. Shame like I had never experienced before—the kind of shame that you forget how to breathe. You don't know where to go."
At the time, LaBeouf had just accepted the titular role in Padre Pio, the upcoming biopic about the Italian Franciscan Capuchin friar. In preparation for the part, the actor stayed at a monastery and started researching Catholicism. Having "no friends in my life" at this point, LaBeouf said he sensed a "deep desire to hold on" when he began reading the gospel.
"And it stops being a prep for a movie and starts being something beyond all that," he continued. "I know now my God was using my ego to draw me to Him."
Elsewhere in the interview, LaBeouf explained how allegations of abuse made against him in the recent years led to an estrangement with his mother, who he described as "embarrassed beyond all imagination" when the claims surfaced. "The news that had come out was like, 'I've been abusive to women, I'm shooting dogs, I've been willingly giving women STDs,'" he said, calling the accusations "depraved."
However, according to LaBeouf, he was able to reconnect with his mom after finding "peace" through prayer and his studies at the monastery. "It was seeing other people who have sinned beyond anything I could ever conceptualize also being found in Christ that made me feel like, 'Oh, that gives me hope,'" he explained. "I started hearing experiences of other depraved people who had found their way in this, and it made me feel like I had permission."
In 2020, LaBeouf's ex, musician FKA twigs, filed a lawsuit accusing him of "relentless abuse" and knowingly giving her a sexually transmitted disease. LaBeouf later denied the claims in a 2021 court filing obtained by E! News, saying that the singer "has not suffered any injury or damage as a result of [his] actions."
Earlier this year, LaBeouf became a father and welcomed his first child with Mia Goth.