He grew up in front of our eyes. From quirky and mischievous Louis Stevens on the Disney Channel comedy, “Even Stevens,” to leading action star in the mega-blockbuster trilogy, “Transformers,” Shia LaBeouf has entertained audiences of all ages for over a decade.
LaBeouf began his acting career at age 10 by performing in comedy clubs around Los Angeles before becoming Louis Stevens in “Even Stevens.”
“Even Stevens was a quality Disney Channel show. I always enjoyed watching,” sophomore Trevor Hougen said.
After completing three seasons and a TV movie for the Disney Channel, LaBeouf was ready to move onto film projects and prove himself as a serious actor. Portraying roles in films such as “Holes,” “The Greatest Game Ever Played” and “Disturbia,” LaBeouf became a respected actor outside of the Disney phenomenon.
His big break, however, came when he starred in the 2007 blockbuster ‘Transformers,” and the 2010 film “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.” The two films catapulted the young actor to A-list star status.
Although LaBeouf was on top of the world professionally, his constant struggle with fame caused a lot of problems in his day-to-day life. In 2005, the actor was arrested by the Los Angeles Police Department for assault with a deadly weapon after threatening a neighbor with his car. He was also arrested in 2007 for a misdemeanor criminal trespassing.
Child stars tend to struggle with fame. They act like they have to prove something to the world. To prove that they are adults now and that they are ready for the “big leagues.”
“I think child stars are destined for a lot of struggles, specifically, child stars from Disney seem to be the ‘most messed up,’” said sophomore Kristen Acosta.
“I don’t know what happens to them, but I do believe that as young children, these stars are so heavily influenced by a lot of bad things [drugs and alcohol] that as they get older, getting into trouble seems OK.”
At a certain point, their behavior causes people to forget about the work they do, and to focus more on what crazy stunt they are going to pull next.
LaBeouf’s recent antics have shocked many of his fans. After being accused of plagiarizing his short film, “Howard Cantour.com,”
LaBeouf went on to wear a paper bag over his head written with the words, “I am Not Famous Anymore,” at the 64th Berlin International Film Festival and opened an art exhibit in Los Angeles called #iamsorry.
Many called his behavior a public “meltdown,” but others seem to believe that this could all be a part of a bigger plan to garner attention for LaBeouf’s latest film, “Nymphomaniac.”
“Shia LaBeouf seems like a pretty normal kid. He seemed like he was on the right track. It could be that the industry is getting to him, but at the same time, because he is a comedian, he could honestly just be doing it for giggles,” said junior Roxanne Chalupnik.
The truth is LaBeouf is a great actor. Over the past 15 years, he has transformed from the goofy kid next door to one of Hollywood’s leading men. He has even proved that he has the potential to be one of the greatest actors of our generation.
Regardless of whether his current behavior is considered to be that of a “meltdown,” a publicity stunt or just a rough patch, people should focus on the work he does as an actor instead of the struggles he deals with in his personal life.
Published March 5, 2014