How Shia LaBeouf ruined his relationship with Steven Spielberg

Before he exhibited questionable behavior and became involved in a series of controversies from which he struggles to recover, Shia LaBeouf was Hollywood’s golden boy. The former Disney Channel star had the opportunity to show off his acting skills in films outside of his usual wheelhouse, which led him to impress award-winning director Steven Spielberg. For a time he was considered the next Tom Hanks as he managed to bag several projects linked to the director. They apparently shared other similarities as well.

“I think what Steven really likes about Shia is his endearing quality,” director DJ Caruso told Vanity Fair in 2008. LaBeouf first worked with Spielberg on Disturbia, and not long after he also booked Indiana Jones and Transformers. Initially, LaBeouf admitted he couldn’t believe he was even worth Spielberg’s time. “When he mentioned Indiana Jones, I was about to have a heart attack. I couldn’t breathe,” LaBeouf told the outlet. “And then he told me not to tell anyone. It’s like winning the Super Bowl, but you can’t tell anyone you won the Super Bowl for three months!”

Working with Spielberg was once a dream for LaBeouf. “That’s how I want it, man. I’ve been praying for this pressure. That’s intentional,” he said. But after working with the director multiple times, LaBeouf changed his mindset and eventually destroyed their working relationship.

Shia LaBeouf publicly attacked Steven Spielberg

Though Steven Spielberg is said to be his dream director, Shia LaBeouf has slammed him not once but twice in the media. In 2010, after the fourth installment of Indiana Jones hit theaters, LaBeouf said he wasn’t happy with the film and blamed himself.

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“I feel like I dropped the ball on the legacy that people loved and cherished,” LaBeouf told the Los Angeles Times. “If I did it twice, my career would be over. So it was fight or flight for me.” However, he didn’t think Spielberg would blame him for saying anything negative about the film. “I’ll probably get a call. But he needs to hear this. I love him. i love steven I have a relationship with Steven that supersedes our business work. And believe me, I talk to him enough times to know I’m not out of line,” the actor said.

Years later, LaBeouf again criticized the director. He said he put Spielberg on a pedestal and that working with him wasn’t as great as he imagined. “You get there and realize you’re not hitting the Spielberg you’re dreaming of,” LaBeouf told Variety. “You meet a different Spielberg… He’s less of a director and more of a damn company.” He added that he doesn’t have much leeway in terms of his behavior as everything is “meticulously planned.” And although they have worked together several times, he only really liked one film out of them all. “The only movie I liked that we did together was ‘Transformers’.”

Shia LaBeouf regrets criticism of Steven Spielberg

It turns out Shia LaBeouf got a call after he blew up his former favorite director. In 2012, he expressed regret after speaking negatively about “Indiana Jones” and said he spoke to Steven Spielberg. “He told me there’s a time to be human and have an opinion and there’s a time to sell cars,” he told The Hollywood Reporter.

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He also apologized for the comments he made in his Variety interview and admitted he was a bit harsh. “I screw up sometimes, you know,” he told SiriusXM’s Sway In The Morning show. “I probably could have gotten easier with Spielberg, that was probably something I should have stepped back from,” adding that the director “but gave me a lot of opportunities and that’s on me.”

In a separate interview, he admitted that his experience working with the likes of Spielberg was enough to make him suspicious of the system. “I’ve been doing studio films for a while and lost my sensibility and connection to the material in the process,” he said, adding that some of his best work has nothing to do with big studios. “I found my way to survive and thrive.” But he doesn’t close his doors to big Hollywood projects he used to be in. “I’m not against any of that,” he said. “I’m probably on my way there, but I don’t pick roles based on who’s producing the film … I’ve walked through mud, I’m picky about my stuff.”