He also served three tours in Vietnam and, once home, struggled for years with heroin addiction.
He picked this spot because, as I learn, it’s a safe space, turf where he feels secure. They’re a struggling motherfucker showing his ass in front of the world.” And since La Beouf, more than anyone else, did the ripping, he knows it’s now on him to do the mending.“To be disciplined and accountable, communicative and a pleasure to work with.And then, within a split second, they’re asked to be a psychopath. It takes a very strong human being to sustain a genuine sense of well-being through that baptism of fire.” Then: “Drama is not known to attract stable types.” La Beouf invites me to dinner at a family-friendly joint in Sherman Oaks, the affluent Los Angeles neighborhood where he’s lived for nearly a decade.He takes a sip of coffee—he’s now sober—looks out the window, and says, “Nah, not yet.” The real question is much tougher to answer: If La Beouf’s instability informs his acting, will damping the one dim the other?He says he is eager to be understood, but he also questions my intentions in a way that is less defensive than, well, on the offensive.
Shia La Beouf is nervous about this story—“I have so much fear about this thing,” he confesses to me when we first meet—and it drives him to do what he’s always done when faced with something he cannot fully control: Prepare. For the past two months, he’s conducted practice interviews over the phone with his therapist, anticipating all of the possible scenarios, workshopping his responses to my questions.