It’s no secret. Shia Labeouf is a weird dude, and seemingly prides himself in his outlandishness. In 2012, Forbes writer Dorothy Pomer predicted that Labeouf’s desire to stray away from large corporations and become a champion for the indie community would prove to be damning for his commercial success and severely decrease his celebrity. Add in his really bizarre antics in the years since and we’re all left wondering- what does this mean for Shia’s earnings?
Shia LaBeouf owes his beginnings in Hollywood to the Disney Channel and his role as the mischievous star of the show “Even Stevens.” According to multiple sources, LaBeouf came from a modest upbringing and decided acting was his best chance at providing for himself and his family. Before he was even in his teens he got the ball rolling, and now he’s a well-recognized star. The Transformers movies, which grossed over a billion dollars each worldwide is where LaBeouf can attribute much of his earnings so far. Working with Michael Bay on the trilogy got him a salary of $15,000,000 for the third film. But LaBeouf was replaced by Mark Wahlberg for the fourth and final installation in 2013, an unforseen decision that would have otherwise put over $16,000,000 in LaBeouf’s pocket. However, though LaBeouf would take a break from major films and concentrate on several art films, he did recently appear in a Brad Pitt-led film that did fairly well in the box office and was met to generally positive reviews, “Fury.” This would indicate that LaBeouf knows the importance of remaining relevant to the masses, though it’s clear his passion is for the arts.
If you’re not familiar with the numerous controversy that have involve LaBeouf as of recently, we’ll fill you in. Most recently, LaBeouf made headlines for his part in Sia’s music video for “Elastic Heart.” LaBeouf starred alongside 12-year-old dancer Maddy Ziegler and, enclosed in cage and wearing skin-colored leotards, the two danced to the song. The closeness of the two given Ziegler’s age offended many people to the point where Sia felt compelled to issue a public apology and explain her decision to create the video as it is. Shia had this to say in a behind-the-scenes segment: “… all of my work, especially for the last five years, has just been my soul bared on film… I feel like being here to make art is some sort of redemptive thing for myself and for me. It’s completely selfish. I’m here for completely selfish reasons.”
Then there was his #IAMSORRY project, where in early 2014 LaBeouf lived in an L.A. gallery for five days and let the public come sit with him while he sat in silence, often weeping according to those who participated. Months later, while talking about the performance art, he claimed he was raped by a woman who had waited in line and just began to do what she wanted. Some people felt that by making this claim, LaBeouf was undermining the plight of rape victims who are actually powerless or manipulated versus going to extremes for a project. Perhaps LaBeouf’s comment on his selfishness would have been more adequate in response to this.
And even though he made a good career move and took a role in 2014’s Fury, the lengths he went to for the military film can only be an indicator that the guy’s out of his mind. He claims that he joined the National Guard, became baptized, knocked out his own tooth and knifed up his face for his role in Fury. Oh, he also admitted to not bathing for four months. LaBeouf’s performance in Fury was admittedly a good one, but maybe he should have kept the lengths he went to to himself. There are numerous incidences of actors going to great lengths for their craft, but like director David Ayer said in an October interview, LaBeouf is trying to prove himself to be a capable adult actor and shed his reputation as a child actor.
Shia Labeouf isn’t afraid to go there, and he’s not afraid to take and handle criticism. For this reason, we think Labeouf will have no problem having staying power and picking some good projects and staying in the spotlight. We just hope he becomes less of a jerk in the process.