The celebrity court appearance de jour comes – once again – courtesy of actor Shia LaBeouf, the “Transformers” actor who has created a series of bad deeds, the latest of which is being disruptive at a showing of “Cabaret” at a New York theater.
CNN report that a tired-looking LaBeouf was silent as he left a Manhattan courtroom after being released on his own recognizance. Represented by a legal aid lawyer during his brief court appearance, the actor was formally charged with criminal trespass, disorderly conduct and harassment.
In court, a prosecutor voiced concern about releasing LaBeouf without bail, but the defense lawyer noted the media buzz that his failure to appear for his July 24 court day would generate. The actor was surrounded by reporters and photographers for several blocks after leaving court.
Shia LaBeouf’s behavior has gone from precocious and unpredictable to downright bizarre in recent weeks.
After a string of commercials, TV and movie appearances, LaBeouf found fame at 14 as the star of Disney’s “Even Stevens.” The comedy ran from 2000 to 2003 and earned the young actor an Emmy for outstanding performer in a children’s series. As “Even Stevens” wrapped up, LaBeouf landed another breakout role, this time in film. He starred in 2003’s “Holes,” which was adapted from Louis Sachar’s novel. “Holes” wasn’t the only movie LaBeouf worked on that year. He also appeared in “Dumb and Dumberer: When Harry Met Lloyd,” “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle ” and “The Battle of Shaker Heights.” For the latter movie’s premiere in August 2003, the then 17-year-old actor brought his mom as his date.
As his fame grew, LaBeouf became part of the parade of kid stars who were becoming household names, like Amanda Bynes and Raven Symone. The trio appeared on MTV’s “Total Request Live” in 2005.
In 2007, Shia LaBeouf was hand-picked by Steven Spielberg — who eventually became a mentor for the up-and-coming actor — to star in the thriller “Disturbia.” The release helped establish LaBeouf as a major talent in Hollywood as the movie scored a surprise No. 1 at the box office. With one top movie already under his belt, LaBeouf went on to score another No. 1 blockbuster with 2007’s “Transformers.” He starred in the movie as Sam Witwicky, a character he reprised in two more films before deciding to quit the franchise.
In November 2007, LaBeouf earned that other Hollywood rite of passage: his very first mugshot. The then-21-year-old actor was arrested for trespassing in a Chicago drugstore. According to People magazine, a security guard at the store repeatedly asked LaBeouf to leave because he appeared intoxicated, and when the actor refused, the security guard called the cops. LaBeouf was described as Spielberg’s protege, so it wasn’t surprising to see the actor turn up in the famed filmmaker’s “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” in 2008. The only problem? The movie didn’t go over so well, and LaBeouf made waves bad-mouthing it two years later, saying that he and his colleagues had “dropped the ball.”
Despite earning a reputation as Hollywood’s newest troublemaker, LaBeouf was still as popular as ever in 2008. That year, he was at work on a second “Transformers” movie and was starring in another action film, “Eagle Eye.” In May, he was brought back to “Saturday Night Live” to host for a second time; that appearance was just two months before he was arrested at the scene of a car accident on suspicion of DUI.
The wreck left LaBeouf with a nasty hand injury. In 2010, LaBeouf tried to shake off some of his action star rep and bad boy behavior. He signed up for Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” started studying the stock market and dated his squeaky clean “Wall Street” co-star, Oscar nominee Carey Mulligan. “I cleared my life to make this movie,” he told GQ magazine that year. “My past life did not follow me to New York. I created a whole new existence.”
LaBeouf’s transformation included saying goodbye to the “Transformers” series in 2011. The actor filmed the third installment, “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” — which replaced his former co-star Megan Fox with Rosie Huntington-Whiteley — and then announced he’d washed his hands of Michael Bay’s chain of blockbusters. “I don’t have anything new to contribute,” he said that year. Leaving summer popcorn films firmly in his past, LaBeouf focused on creating a career in indie filmmaking. In 2012, as he starred in “Lawless,” he said that “there’s no room for being a visionary in the studio system. It literally cannot exist. … I’m done.”
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