Shia La Beouf: 10 Pivotal Roles From the 'Transformers' Star's Career (Videos)
From Disney Channel's "Even Stevens" to the latest "Transformers" flick, THR looks at the actor's key projects.
As of late, Shia LaBeouf has been primarily known for his big-screen roles, the latest being director Michael Bay's blockbuster feature Transformers: Dark of the Moon.
But the 25-year-old LaBeouf wasn't always a movie star.
In fact, his first pivotal role was the early 2000s television series Even Stevens on the Disney Channel, in which he portrayed Louis Stevens for three seasons. So how did he exactly get to this point?
THR takes a look at the most pivotal roles of his sequels-heavy career.
Even Stevens (1999-2003)
Even Stevens centered on clashing siblings Ren (Christy Carlson Romano) and Louis (LaBeouf), but did you know LaBeouf earned a Daytime Emmy award for his work on the Disney Channel comedy? In 2003, the then-teenager beat out nominees like Reading Rainbow's LeVar Burton and Even Stevens co-star Donna Pescow. The show has been credited as LaBeouf's breakout, which led him to his first big-screen film role, Holes. Additionally, the feature-length The Even Stevens Movie aired as the series finale in mid-June 2003.
The film based on the novel of the name name by Louis Sachar, starred LaBeouf in the lead role of Stanley Yelnats, a boy who is punished for a crime he did not commit. The feature was well-received from critics and audiences alike and earned nearly more than $67 million in box office receipts. The San Francisco Chronicle's Mick LaSalle wrote, "As kids' films go, it's a thoughtful, superior piece of work, an entertaining picture that youngsters can enjoy on first viewing and perhaps fully grow into as they get a bit older."
Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003)
LaBeouf's role may not have been a major one, but as orphan Max Petroni, he exercises his comedy chops alongside A-list stars like Drew Barrymore and Cameron Diaz.
LaBeouf co-starred with Keanu Reeves and Rachel Weisz in the supernatural film, loosely based on the comic book Hellblazer. Playing Constantine's young driver and student, Chas Kramer, LaBeouf's character was his right-hand man. Though LaBeouf's character ultimately dies, it was one of the young actor's meatier roles in his rising movie career. Check out a scene with Constantine and Chas here.
As part of an ensemble cast of the Emilio Estevez-directed feature, which followed the story of the assassination of U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy through the eyes of 22 people at the Ambassador Hotel in 1968, LaBeouf played campaign volunteer Cooper. He gets distracted by an acid trip through the assistance of drug dealer Fisher, played by Ashton Kutcher.
The thriller Disturbia, directed by D.J. Caruso, starred LaBeouf as 17-year-old Kale Brecht who believes he witnesses a murder while spying on his suspicious neighbor while serving house arrest. It would mark the actor's biggest break up until that point, with the modestly-budgeted film making more than $100 million in the box office. For preparation, LaBeouf (Caruso said he auditioned more than 100 actors for the role) watched Rear Window and Straw Dogs. Many reviewers took note of LaBeouf's performance, with the film earning "two thumbs up" from Richard Roeper and A.O. Scott.
Though Disturbia catapulted LaBeouf into the big leagues, it was Transformers later that year that would shatter it. Despite mixed reviews to the first film of the franchise, it grossed more than $700 million in the U.S. box office. LaBeouf continued his track of playing teens/young adults with Sam Witwicky, a teenager caught in a war between the Autobots and the Decepticons.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
The fourth film in the Indiana Jones franchise, released nearly two decades after the most recent. Set in 1957, LaBeouf played Harrison Ford's son Henry "Mutt" Jones III, Indiana's sidekick. Steven Spielberg's first choice to play the role was LaBeouf after seeing the actor's turn in Holes. Indiana Jones made $786 million in the worldwide box office. Reviewers were mostly positive with the latest installment to the franchise.
Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen (2009)
The follow-up to 2007's box office success lost its luster with the reviewers. Many commented on the weak story, but nonetheless the blockbuster proved fruitful to produce a third in the franchise. It would also mark the last Transformers film that LaBeouf would co-star in with Megan Fox. Even LaBeouf admitted that the second film wasn't the best of the franchise, saying in an interview, "We got lost. We tried to get bigger. It's what happens to sequels. It's like, how do you top the first one? You've got to go bigger." Bay agreed, admitting that the movie was "crap."
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps (2010)
Directed by Oliver Stone, the 2010 sequel to the original film with Michael Douglas, is set in New York 23 years after and revolving around the 2008 financial crisis. LaBeouf plays Jake Moore, a young trader who works at Keller Zebel Investments and is in a long-term relationshipw with Gordon Gecko's (Douglas) estranged daughter Winnie (Carey Mulligan). Critics were mixed on the follow-up, though THR's Kirk Honeycutt said the feature ultimately succeeded in producing a good sequel -- though Stone "gets too fancy."
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