Shia LaBeouf Talks Alcoholism & How His New Theater Company Changed His Life

By Bryan Le 07/01/19

The movie star has had a rough few years, but is happier and less lonely with his Slauson R.C. Theater Company.

Shia LaBeouf attends 'The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman' during the Berlinale Festival at the Palast on February 9, 2013 in Berlin, Germany.
LeBeouf is happier in his theater community. Denis Makarenko |

Actor Shia LaBeouf is happier now that he’s found a community at the Slauson R.C. Theater Company, a performing arts program he co-founded.

His film career has seen the extremes of the creative spectrum, from mainstream blockbusters like Transformers to arthouse flicks like American Honey. His personal life has been a roller coaster as well, garnering national attention for his racist tirade during a public drunkenness arrest.

LaBeouf Says Theater Company Has Given Him A New Lease On Life

But now that LaBeouf has the support of his theater community, he says he’s happier than he's ever been in his entire life. LaBeouf’s Slauson Rec. initiative is open to anyone with “a story that they’re willing to share” whether or not they are trained or experienced actors. While the pursuit seems wholesome, LeBeouf admits in an interview that his passion for it comes from a place of selfishness.

“I mean look, this isn’t straight altruism and charity work at all. It started in selfishness, it remains in selfishness. This shit is super selfish, it’s not like I’m fucking out here helping the kids, that’s not what’s going on,” he told Dazed Digital. “I’m trying to allow myself some kind of happily-ever-after scenario.”

He also freely admits that the theater company is just another way to chase the high he experienced while drinking.

“A big reason I was such a fucking alcoholic is that when I’m fully absorbed, or lost in something, or immersed in something bigger than myself, it’s a high,” he revealed. “So I drank because it allowed me this freedom for a time from this constant chatter, this self-monitoring of my daily life, right? This fucking anxious self-scrutiny, this non-stop chatter, and I lose that in these workshops when I’m caught up in the work that we’re making as a group. It is a high. I’m chasing a high.”

Things weren’t always rosy for LaBeouf, who garnered negative scrutiny in 2017 after telling a black officer that another black officer was “a black man who arrested me for being white in a city that don’t have nothing to do with none of it.”

LaBeouf Will Portray His Father, Who Battles Alcoholism, In His New Film

In a video of the arrest, LaBeouf belligerently questions why the officers would enforce the law for a president and a police force that “doesn’t give a f— about you.”

“So you wanna arrest, what, white people who give a f— who ask for cigarettes? I came up trying to be nice, you stupid b—,” LaBeouf said on camera, among other things. “I got more millionaire lawyers than you know what to do with, you stupid b—.”

The officers report that the incident began when a stranger refused LaBeouf’s request for a cigarette.

Now, LaBeouf is taking the root of his trauma head-on in the upcoming film, Honey Boy, wherein he plays his own alcoholic father.

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter