Where’s an alleged sexual assailant to turn these days? Historically, it’s been the Catholic Church, and it seems not much has changed. In a Youtube interview with Bishop Robert Barron, Shia LaBeouf discussed his conversion to the Catholic Church, aka the hottest club in town, along with his acting methods.
“I would consider myself an immersive actor, but method acting has like a bad smell to it,” he said. LaBeouf then described method acting as “douchey” and “mean,” and Catholicism as an “immersive experience” and an “adventure.” Those are definitely two phrases one could use to describe the church.
Earlier this week, director Olivia Wilde discussed firing LaBeouf from her upcoming film Don’t Worry Darling, whose role she ended up casting now-boyfriend Harry Styles in. “He has a process that, in some ways, seems to require a combative energy, and I don’t personally believe that is conducive to the best performances,” Wilde told Variety. LaBeouf holds a different account. Variety reported Friday that LaBeouf forwarded two e-mails he claims he sent to Wilde, in which he wrote, “You and I both know the reasons for my exit. I quit your film because your actors and I couldn’t find time to rehearse.” Clearly, it was not an immersive enough experience for him.
The publication stated that LaBeouf’s reps declined to comment for its initial profile on Wilde. It also included screenshots of texts LaBeouf said were exchanged with Wilde in August 2020, referring to his involvement in DWD. After telling Wilde he quit the film, she reportedly texted him:
“Thanks for letting me in on your thought process. I know that isn’t fun. Doesn’t feel good to say no to someone, and I respect your honesty. I’m honored you were willing to go there with me, for me to tell a story with you. I’m gutted because it could have been something special. I want to make clear how much it means to me that you trust me. That’s a gift I’ll take with me.”
In his most recent e-mail to Wilde, shared with Variety, he ended with:
Firing me never took place, Olivia. And while I fully understand the attractiveness of pushing that story because of the current social landscape, the social currency that brings. It is not the truth. So I am humbly asking, as a person with an eye toward making things right, that you correct the narrative as best you can. I hope none of this negatively effects you, and that your film is successful in all the ways you want it to be.
(The Variety report is actually a much more detailed account. Read it if you’ve got endless appetite for DWD goss.)
But back to his religious awakening. LaBeouf and Bishop Barron met while the actor was preparing for and filming the upcoming movie Padre Pio and living amongst the Capuchin Franciscan friars, a religious order within the church concentrated on preaching ministry to the poor. LaBeouf was born to a Jewish mother and had both a bar mitzvah and baptism. In 2014, he converted to Christianity. His call to the Catholic Church came after a particularly tumultuous time in his personal life, when former girlfriend and Honey Boy co-star FKA twigs sued him for sexual battery, physical assault, and emotional distress. Other former partners, including singer Sia, called out his alleged behavior, as well. LaBeouf then took a break from acting to focus on his recovery.
In the hour-long interview, LaBeouf recalled, “I didn’t want to be alive anymore when all this happened. Shame like I had never experienced before—the kind of shame that you forget how to breathe. You don’t know where to go. You can’t go outside and get like, a taco.” Oh. How difficult for him.
That open schedule allowed him to be “the kind of actor that the next minute he jumps in his pick up truck and he’s driving to a monastery in California,” Padre Pio director Abel Ferrara told Variety. LaBeouf admitted his path toward salvation wasn’t without ego. “I know now that God was using my ego to draw me to Him. Drawing me away from worldly desires. It was all happening simultaneously. But there would have been no impetus for me to get in my car, drive up [to the monastery] if I didn’t think, ‘Oh, I’m gonna save my career.’” Who knew his pickup truck would play such a pivotal role in his conversion?
Anyways, continuing to give you your daily bread….
- Britney, and now her voice, are freed! Listen to her first song in six years, a duet with Elton John. [Youtube]
- Vanessa Bryant, widowed wife of Kobe Bryant, was awarded $16 million in a lawsuit against LA County. She’s pledged it all to Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation. [People]
- Wondering who is behind the new pep in the White House Twitter account? It’s New Jersey’s Megan Coyne. [New Jersey Globe]
- Abby De La Rosa, one of Nick Cannon’s children’s mothers, joked that he’s creating “Gen C” after news broke he’s expecting his 10th child. [Page Six]
- Student who publishes Elon Musk’s flight records says he’ll stop for $50,000. Dude, ask for more! [NY Post]
Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Shia LeBeouf gave Variety text messages he sent to Olivia Wilde. Those text messages were sent from Wilde to LaBeouf.