Shia LaBeouf says he’s converted to Catholicism.
“It was seeing other people who have sinned beyond anything I could ever conceptualize also being found in Christ that made me feel like, ‘Oh, that gives me hope,’” the actor explained. “I started hearing experiences of other depraved people who had found their way in this, and it made me feel like I had permission.”
Speaking to Barron, the “Honey Boy” actor revealed that to step into the shoes of the biopic’s titular character, the late-Christian mystic Padre Pio, he began to take part in the Catholic Church. To start, he moved into a monastery of Franciscan Capuchin friars.
“When I walked into this, my life was on fire,” LaBeouf explained in the interview. “I was walking down a hill. It wasn’t like I willingly came in here on a white horse singing show tunes. I came in here on fire, and I didn’t want to be an actor anymore. And my life was a complete mess, and I had hurt a lot of people. I felt deep shame, guilt. I didn’t like to go outside much. I really had a journey here and I was on my way out.”
Nearly one year before filming for Padre Pio commenced in Italy, LaBeouf became a subject of public ire in December 2020. At the time, the actor was hit with a lawsuit by his ex-girlfriend, the singer Tahliah Debrett Barnett, better known as FKA Twigs, for sexual battery, infliction of emotional distress, and assault. Among other abuses, the “Killer” singer accused LaBeouf of knowingly giving her a sexually transmitted disease.
LaBeouf denied the accusations “generally and specifically.”
That lawsuit is set to go to trial in Los Angeles on April 17, 2023.
LaBeouf did not touch on any accusations or legal trials during his interview with Barron. He did, however, express that before filming the biopic, he experienced a deep sense of isolation.
“I had nowhere to go. This was the last stop on the train. There was nowhere else to go. In every sense,” the actor explained. “I know now that God was using my ego to draw me to him… It was seeing other people who have sinned beyond anything I could ever conceptualize also being found in Christ that made me feel like, ‘Oh, that gives me hope.’”