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“Money was a solution to whatever the hell was going on in my household”: Before Earning His Millions, Shia LaBeouf’s Childhood Was as Sad as it Can Get

Before Earning His Millions, Shia LaBeouf’s Childhood Was as Sad as it Can Get

Actor Shia LaBeouf is known for his appearances in the billion-dollar blockbuster franchise Transformers. The actor starred in the first three films of the franchise along with Megan Fox and became a household name. While he is known for his off-screen antics and independent work, his role as Sam Witwicky is still his most iconic.


LaBeouf started his career as a child actor on the Disney Channel show Even Stevens, and was one of the only earning members of his family. The actor revealed his troubled childhood and how he focused on earning money through his talent.

Also read:“Hardy is a bit of a gorilla on the set”: Shia LaBeouf Felt “Most Intimidated” By Dark Knight Star, Claimed “He runs the set… feels like his space”

Shia LaBeouf’s Rise To Stardom

Shia LaBeouf
Shia LaBeouf

Today, actor Shia LaBeouf is known for his attention-catching antics off-screen and performance art, and he is known for his highly public scandals. Of course, his biggest shot to fame remains his starring role in Michael Bay’s adaptation of Transformers.

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LeBeouf, however, first started performing at the age of ten, when he started doing stand-up comedy. He spoke about this phase of his career in an interview with Parade Magazine,

“I started doing stand-up at this place called the HBO Theater…I’d get up there and go, ‘Hey, m–f–! It’s time for some jokes.’ And all the drunks would be like, ‘Hey, wait a minute. This is weird as hell!’…I would just attack them…I would just break a whole guy’s life down…And everybody would laugh at it, and that guy would hate it. I was like an insult comic.”

Also read: “You’re a good actor but not this one”: Shia LaBeouf Revealed WB Gave His Role to Clint Eastwood’s Son in $747M Movie That Almost Starred Tom Hardy

Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox in Transformers
Shia LaBeouf and Megan Fox in Transformers

He gradually decided to pursue an acting career in order to make money. He found an agent through the Yellow Pages and then was signed on later. He had his breakthrough role in the Disney Channel show Even Stevens, for which he earned a Daytime Emmy Award.


LeBeouf had his big breakthrough as an adult actor in the thriller Disturbia. The Hitchcock-inspired film received rave reviews and made the actor more well-known. It led to his casting in the Transformers films as well as Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

Also read: Shia LaBeouf’s $25M Fortune Keeps Getting Exhausted Due To Legal Fees: Every Controversy Surrounding The Transformers Actor, Explained

Shia LaBeouf Grew Up Under Harsh Financial Circumstances

Shia LaBeouf in Even Stevens
Shia LaBeouf in Even Stevens

Shia LaBeouf reportedly had a troubled childhood which was marred by poverty, his parents’ divorce, and a difficult relationship with his father. LaBeouf chronicled his life as a child actor under these circumstances and explores his relationship with his father in the film Honey Boy. In an interview with Parade Magazine, LaBeouf mentioned that he grew up in poverty as both of his parents were artists who did not find any work.


He spoke about his father’s failed business ideas and his parents’ eventual divorce due to their differences and financial situation. All of these made Shia LaBeouf realize how important money was to lead life and he went to look for jobs at the age of ten. He said,

“I just knew that money was a solution to whatever the hell was going on in my household. With money, I and my family would have had more options. So I went after a job that I thought I could make the most money for a 10-year-old or an 11-year-old boy.”

LaBeouf has since looked back on these experiences as something that made him the person he is. He mentioned in the same interview that he saw these experiences as ‘scars’ and that he was proud of his circumstances. The actor is currently worth $25 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth.

Also read: “Which was just f**king nonsense”: Shia LaBeouf’s Greatest Regret isn’t Transformers 3, It’s a $3.4M Critical Gem He Wrote Himself That Destroyed His Dad’s Reputation


Source: Parade

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Written by Nishanth

A big time Nolan and DC fanboy, Nishanth is a Media, English and Psychology graduate from Bangalore. When he's not fixating on the entire filmography of a director, he tries to write and direct films.