Shia LaBeouf Once Compared Working With Steven Spielberg To ‘Grabbing Onto a Rocket Ship’ To Outer Space

Shia LaBeouf is one of the small fraternity of actors who have gotten to star in Steven Spielberg’s blockbuster films. The experience shaped a large part of his early career, bringing him significant wealth and fame.

However, after starring in several of Spielberg’s big-budget studio films, he took a step back and has since only worked on independent films. Speaking on the experience of working with Spielberg, he compared it to “grabbing onto a rocket ship.”

Shia LaBeouf worked with Steven Spielberg on ‘Transformers’ and ‘Indiana Jones’

Shia LaBeouf
Shia LaBeouf attends the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Shia LaBeouf Nearly Quit Acting and Joined the Peace Corps Prior to Shooting ‘Honey Boy’

LaBeouf hasn’t worked on a studio movie in a while, but he starred in several big-budget studio films earlier in his career. After starring in the Spielberg-produced blockbuster hit Transformers, he went on to star in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, which was directed by Steven Spielberg. 

Both films were very successful, with both grossing over $700 million at the box office, according to Box Office Mojo. Speilberg is known for creating large-scale movies of sweeping scope and has helped countless actors grow into international superstars. 

Shia LaBeouf compared working with Steven Spielberg to ‘grabbing onto a rocket ship’

For many actors, working with Spielberg is a lifelong dream. LaBeouf had that dream realized when he worked with the iconic director and was well-aware of the magnitude of the accomplishment. He spoke about the experience during a 2019 interview with MTV News, comparing it to riding a rocket ship into outer space.  

“You get in a movie with Spielberg, it’s like grabbing onto a rocket ship,” LaBeouf said. “Then you’re in outer space and you’re in orbit.”

LaBeouf continued the analogy by comparing landing back on Earth to the trajectory of actors’ careers after working with Spielberg. Some are very successful, while others have a hard time remaining relevant. 

“Yeah, so then you crash land,” LaBeouf said. “For some. Or some have a parachute. And then you find your footing again.” 

LaBeouf didn’t shy away from admitting how lucky he is to still have a career in Hollywood. He’s had a number of highly-publicized incidents that threatened his acting career. 

“And if you’re lucky you’re still making movies at that point,” LaBeouf said. “And I’m one of the lucky ones. And I know that, I’m very aware of how lucky I am. I’m on my ninth life.”

Shia LaBeouf isn’t against working on studio films again 

One of the main gripes LaBeouf had about working on films such as Transformers and Indiana Jones is a perceived lack of depth in his roles. 

Yet, although LaBeouf made it clear in the past that he doesn’t love the Hollywood studio machine that produces such films, he didn’t rule out working on another studio film.

“Listen, I’m not against any of it,” LaBeouf said. “I’m probably headed towards it.”

Shia LaBeouf ‘lost his sensibilities’ after working on studio films

LaBeouf then explained why he stepped back from working on studio movies in the first place, citing a lack of inspiration. 

“I was doing studio films for a while, lost my sensibilities and my connection to the material,” LaBeouf said. “Studio films in general, when you have to make a movie for a big general audience, you have to be less specific. And the less specific you are, the less meat you have to chew on. The less meat you have to chew on, the less interesting it is for the actor.”

Since backing away from the studio circuit, LaBeouf feels like he’s produced some of the best work of his career. 

“So, I’m not gonna s–t on nothing, but yeah,” LaBeouf added. “I’ve just found my way to one, survive. And two, be able to flourish. I feel like my best stuff has come in the last five years and none of that was studio work.”