Shia LaBeouf can't run from his past.

The actor appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Friday, where he opened up to Ellen DeGeneres about his bad boy behavior and the steps he's taken to get back on track. "You've had quite an interesting life in the last year or so," DeGeneres said nonchalantly, as her guest politely laughed along with the audience. "I really don't pay attention to stuff, but uh, what happened?"

The Fury star didn't sugarcoat his troubles, telling DeGeneres, "Man, I went through like an existential crisis, which turned into kind of like, a, explorations. I had some hiccups, some judgment errors."

DeGeneres recalled that the actor "wore a paper bag" over his head when he walked the red carpet at the Nymphomaniac premiere in February, and in doing so, announced that he was not famous anymore. "So, you wore that. And then to apologize, you did a performance piece, which that sort of was, but you did a performance piece where people could come and see you and say whatever they wanted to you."

"Yeah, we had a table with all these implements," the actor, 28, said of his #IAMSORRY performance exhibit. "You know, there was like an Indiana Jones whip and some pliers and...It was sort of no rules."

"There was a lot of negativity online. So, I thought, 'All right, well, let's see what all this negativity is all about. Let's invite it in," LaBeouf said. DeGeneres said, "Let's put pliers and a whip in front of people..."

"Yeah," LaBeouf confirmed, "so I figured maybe someone will pull my fingernails off. Basically I was sitting there with a bag over my head in this room. And we had these one-on-one situations where we'd invite one person at a time and they can do whatever they wanted. And there was also this bowl of these really malicious tweets. So, people would come in and read them. I was sitting in there broken. I was really truly apologetic, so I was sort of like apologizing to the public in a way. So, I thought for sure people were gonna come in and be super mean from what I'd been reading. But it wasn't that way at all. It was very human. Once they got in there everything changed. They stopped looking at me as like an object they started looking at me as like a human and they were very loving. It was really human."

"Wow! That was very brave of you," the comedienne, 56, remarked. "And most people who do say mean things, it turns out, are the cowards and chicken that just stay there behind their keyboard."

"Well, I think it's...We both suffer from the same thing. I got into this industry because I had this void. I'm a kid of abandonment, so I thought being good at being an actor would somehow fill that void...and so I think people just really want to make a mark," the Lawless actor said of the virtual vitriol he faced in 2013. "So, people who are online making the comments really just want to make a mark. They want to have an effect. So, I think we suffer from the same thing, which is just a lack of attention and love."

DeGeneres praised his insight, adding, "I think no matter how you're reaching for it everybody is trying to fill themselves up in some way. And you gotta do it yourself. And you gotta find out what that is that makes you feel whole and feel good. What scared you the most what got you out of that behavior?"

"Jail," LaBeouf replied. "Jail was quite scary."

"I was there for...it felt like forever," he added. "I think 24 hours, 25 hours."

"That's long enough to know you don't want to be in jail," DeGeneres said. "Was that your first time?"

"Uh, no. But this is the worst time," LaBeouf said, referring to the events of his arrest that took place in June. At the time, the actor had been escorted out of Broadway's Cabaret for disrupting the show. "I really went all the way with it. They put a Hannibal mask on me and a led jacket. It was very scary."

"You must have done something very, very bad," DeGeneres said. "I spit on a cop. That's a no, no," the Transformers star acknowledged. "I'm sorry if you're watching, dude. I'm sorry. That was crazy, man."

"But you're now all good?" DeGeneres asked.

"Yeah, I'm as good as I can be," LaBeouf said. "Sure."

Shia LaBeouf, Ellen Show

Michael Rozman/Warner Bros

"When you're going off the rails a little bit, does your mother call you?" DeGeneres asked. The former Even Stevens star confirmed that his mother did in fact call him after this year, adding, "That's my girl."

"'That's my girl.' How sweet is that? I love that," DeGeneres said. "And what does she say to you?"

"'Stop f--king around,'" LaBeouf quoted her as saying. The audience erupted in laughter and applause.

"So, now, was this early on and you didn't listen to her or was this when she got your attention?" DeGeneres asked. LaBeouf replied, "It's been a process, you know? I am quite stubborn. And an only child. It's just me and her, so she was Mom and Dad. We've had it all...Now I'm on the right path."

Blowing his mother a kiss he added, "Thank you, mom!"

DeGeneres remained curious about how LaBeouf is turning his life around, so she told him, "It's one thing to say, 'OK, I've had some hiccups and I've made some mistakes.' It's another thing to actually then take action. What is it that clicked for you? Are you meditating? How are you getting your head clear?"

LaBeouf explained that "a lot of things" connected "spiritually," but also revealed that physical activity has been almost more effective. "Running is big in my life," he said, adding that he runs 12 miles every day. "I was running a lot before, but I really picked it up a bit. It's become like my salvation, running."

To see how DeGeneres supports his running, watch the video now!

  • Share
  • Tweet

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.