It’s been nearly nine months since Shia LaBeouf’s embarrassing arrest in Savannah, Georgia, but he’s finally ready to talk about it. In a wide-ranging interview with Esquire, LaBeouf spoke about last July’s arrest and much more, holding little back as he went on profanity-laden and self-deprecating rants.
“I’m a buffoon,” said LaBeouf. “My public outbursts are failures. They’re not strategic. They’re a struggling mother**cker showing his ass in front of the world.”
For those who need a refresher, LaBeouf was in Savannah last July when he asked two undercover cops for a cigarette. When they said no, he became belligerent, yelling profane and racist terms at the officers and bragging about his “millionaire lawyers.”
“What went on in Georgia was mortifying, White privilege and desperation and disaster,” LaBeouf told Esquire, admitting his mistake. “It came from a place of self-centered delusion…It was me trying to absolve myself of guilt for getting arrested.”
LaBeouf says that after the arrest, the only person willing to speak with him honestly about it was Zachary Gottsagen, one of LaBeouf’s co-stars in The Peanut Butter Falcon.
“To hear him say that he was disappointed in me probably changed the course of my life,” says LaBeouf. “Zach can’t not shoot straight, and bless him for it, ’cause in that moment, I needed a straight shooter who I couldn’t argue with.”
After his arrest, LaBeouf attended court-mandated rehab for 10 weeks. He also in therapy and is now sober. He’s now looking forward to making getting back to making movies.
LaBeouf stars as John McEnroe in Borg McEnroe, which comes out next month. He’s also in The Peanut Butter Falcon, which will be released later this year. However, he has no other projects in the works, in part because of his recent troubles.
In the Esquire interview, LaBeouf mentions being in line for a part in a Spike Lee movie. But when Lee told his investors about LaBeouf being in the movie, they pulled out, forcing Lee to drop the troubled actor.
LaBeouf is now waiting for someone else to give him a chance. But he may need to spend a little more time cleaning up his life before that chance comes. Fortunately, LaBeouf is starting to recognize that life is more important than movies.
“For a long time, I thought that life was secondary to art,” says LaBeouf. “Then you realize you can’t have this art thing without the life thing. I’m just trying to deal with my life right now.”