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Shia LaBeouf Opens Up About His Early Work: 'I Don't Like the Movies I Made with Spielberg'

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Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

As a young actor, landing a role in a Steven Spielberg movie was a dream come true for Shia LaBeouf.

“I grew up with this idea, if you got to Spielberg, that’s where it is,” LaBeouf revealed in a recent interview with Variety. “I’m not talking about fame, and I’m not talking about money,” adds the actor, who told the magazine he originally wanted roles like Macaulay Culkin’s in the Home Alone movies.

Unfortunately, his experience working with the legendary director did not live up to his expectations.

“You get there, and you realize you’re not meeting the Spielberg you dream of,” LaBeouf told Variety. “You’re meeting a different Spielberg, who is in a different stage in his career. He’s less a director than he is a f—— company.”

Specifically, LaBeouf says he felt stifled by Spielberg’s approach on set. “Spielberg’s sets are very different,” he explained. “Everything has been so meticulously planned. You got to get this line out in 37 seconds. You do that for five years, you start to feel like not knowing what you’re doing for a living.”

During a performance art piece, in which LaBeouf recorded himself re-watching all his old films in one sitting, he noticeably left the theater during the Spielberg-produced second Transformers movie.

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“I don’t like the movies that I made with Spielberg,” he said. “The only movie that I liked that we made together was Transformers one.”

LaBeouf was especially disappointed by the poor critical reception the Spielberg-directed Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull received in 2008. While Variety notes the film earned nearly $800 million worldwide, the actor said, “I prepped for a year and a half and then the movie comes out, and it’s your fault. That s— hurt bad.”

Remembering advice he said Spielberg gave him to avoid his own press, LaBeouf said, “There’s no way to not do that. For me to not read that means I need to not take part in society.”

But whenever he encountered a fan asking for a picture, he remembered the negative comments he had read about himself online. “I didn’t like going in public, because I had to face my failures constantly,” he explained.

It was during this period in his life that he started to drink heavily – a habit he has since quit. “You don’t touch it,” he said of drugs and alcohol. “Alcohol or any of that s— will send you haywire. I can’t f— with none of it. I’ve got to keep my head low.”

His latest film, the indie drama American Honey, is set to screen at the Toronto Film Festival this week after receiving positive reviews at Cannes this May.