Jewish Transformers Star Leaves Faith
By Anna Streetman │Editorial Intern
Shia Labeouf as Boyd “Bible” Swan in Fury
Hollywood star Shia Labeouf has reportedly converted to Christianity.
Labeouf says he came to this revelation while filming on the set of Fury, a war film set during WWII. He plays Boyd “Bible” Swan, a gunner and devout Christian. He stars alongside Brad Pitt and other Jewish actors Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal, and Jason Isaacs. The film was released October 17.
Speaking with Interview Magazine, Labeouf said that he became a Christian in “a very real way” and “surrendered” himself to the religion. He says that he could have just said the prayers on the page, but he found it to be a very real thing that saved him. Labeouf says that co-star Brad Pitt was instrumental in his conversion, and calls him a “thoughtful” actor who takes his work very seriously.
Labeouf was born to a Jewish mother and a Christian father. He has said he was raised around “both sides.” He had a Bar Mitzvah and was also baptized in the Angelus Church. Labeouf always described himself as Jewish, but he said in 2007 that the religion “never made any sense to him.”
Labeouf came under fire back in December of 2013 after the release of his short film Howard Cantour.com. Several people pointed out its similarity to Justin M. Damiano, a 2007 comic by Dan Clowes. He later removed the film and sent out several apologies. Since the plagiarism, much of his work has come under scrutiny.
On June 26 of this year, Labeouf was charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct at New York’s Studio 54 Theater. He was reported to have been “acting disorderly, yelling and being loud.” He refused to leave the theater, where the musical Cabaret was being performed. The arrest report mentioned that Labeouf spat at arresting officers and used homophobic slurs.
Labeouf became known among younger audiences as Louis Stevens in the popular Disney TV show Even Stevens, which he starred in. He won an Emmy for this role. He made his film debut in Holes, a movie adaption of the acclaimed children’s book by Louis Sachar. He is known for his roles in the Transformers movies as Sam Witwicky.
While it is always sad to see a member of the tribe leave, perhaps his newfound Christianity will give him a peace of mind, for he seems to be troubled lately with the pressure of fame.