Shia LaBeouf’s Journey through Fury to Faith?

How a war movie, Brad Pitt, and writer/director David Ayer helped one of Hollywood’s most talented (and troubled) stars find peace.  
LaBeouf's Battlefield Prayer: There are no atheists in foxholes...but what about Hollywood?
LaBeouf’s Battlefield Prayer: There are no atheists in foxholes.

“I found God doing Fury. I became a Christian man, and not in a f***ing bullsh*t way—in a very real way.” -Shia LaBeouf

 • Interview Magazine

c70ed6e50776f4c525c4db106723e885You may know 28-year-old Shia LaBeouf from his series of light-on-their-feet, live-wire, wise-mouth characters beginning with his first big role as Louis Stevens in the Disney Channel series Even Stevens, for which he won a Daytime Emmy in 2003… LaBeouf, a Los Angeles native, has been working steadily as an actor [ever] since… And even as he fled the Transformers series and the avalanche of money that would have continued to come with it, opting instead for a series of more character-driven films that included Lawless (2012) and Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac, LaBeouf’s wiliness and ability continued to shine…

When I sat down with him this past September in New York, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he’d been more interested in feeding his mystique than answering my questions—for instance, that working with Lars von Trier furthered the assumption that anyone out to make sense of LaBeouf was best to view him through a lens of ironic detachment. Instead, the actor’s eagerness to explain himself was a source of continual surprise. Rather than pretentiously discursive, he was intent and thoughtful. His focus was evident and translated into an impressive sense of impact, with the same kind of raw emotion he brings to his newest film, writer-director David Ayer’s World War II action melodrama Fury, in which LaBeouf wrestles with remorse while serving as part of a tank squadron under the command of Brad Pitt’s character, Don “Wardaddy” Collier.

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For summaries of and comment on the interview see:

Shia LaBeouf: “I found God doing Fury”

by Laura Turner Religion News Service

Shia LaBeouf at the premiere of Fury | Photo by DoDNewsFeatures via Flickr
Shia LaBeouf at the premiere of Fury | Photo by DoDNewsFeatures via Flickr

Shia LaBeouf had a lot to say about, well, a lot of different things in a recent conversation with Interview Magazine. He talked about his troubled relationship with his dad, about stalking Alec Baldwin after being cut from a play they were both in, and shared his philosophy on online community (he’s not a big fan). But the part that’s got people talking has to do with his recent conversion of sorts…

I found God doing Fury. I became a Christian man, and not in a f***ing bullshit way—in a very real way. I could have just said the prayers that were on the page. But it was a real thing that really saved me. And you can’t identify unless you’re really going through it. It’s a full-blown exchange of heart, a surrender of control. And while there’s beauty to that, acting is all about control. So that was a wild thing to navigate.

LaBeouf claims this decision was deeply influenced by Fury costar Brad Pitt and director David Ayer. Pitt, who famously comes from an evangelical family, is firmly in the spiritual-but-not-religious camp, while Ayer “is a full subscriber to Christianity…these two diametrically opposed positions both lead to the same spot, and I really looked up to both men.”

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Shia LaBeouf’s profession of faith: Did the actor find Christ while filming Fury, or was he just acting?

By  • World Magazine

fury_ver6_xxlgAlong with news this week that Brad Pitt’s World War II drama Fury claimed the top spot at the box office, we heard reports that one of the movie’s other stars, Shia LaBeouf, became a Christian during the filming process.

In a rather esoteric, profanity-laced response to a question from the Andy Warhol–founded magazine Interview, LaBeouf (Transformers, Indiana Jones) said, “I found God doing Fury. I became a Christian man, and not in a [expletives deleted] way—in a very real way. I could have just said the prayers that were on the page. But it was a real thing that really saved me. And you can’t identify unless you’re really going through it. It’s a full-blown exchange of heart, a surrender of control.”

Mainstream media outlets like Entertainment Weekly, Extra, and E! Online subsequently picked up on LaBeouf’s assumed profession of faith, as did The Blaze and various Christian news websites.

But in reading the entirety of LaBeouf’s comments in context, it becomes clear that there is another way to interpret them that isn’t quite so headline worthy. Rather than making a personal declaration of his devotion to Christ, the actor could have been merely commenting on his immersive style of acting.

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Fury (2014)

April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Out-numbered, out-gunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.