From Fox News:
Actor Shia LaBeouf said he converted to Christianity while shooting his upcoming film “Padre Pio” and has become a member of the Roman Catholic Church.
LaBeouf revealed his conversion in an interview released Thursday with Word on Fire Catholic Ministries’ Bishop Robert Barron.
The actor first engaged with the church while living with a monastery of Franciscan Capuchin friars in order to better understand the late mystic St. Padre Pio, whom LaBeouf portrays in the upcoming movie.
Heading into the project, LaBeouf said that he was at the darkest point in his life after a series of public scandals. He was drawn to spirituality and joined a variety of faith groups to find meaning, fighting thoughts of helplessness and suicide.
“I had a gun on the table. I was outta here,” Shia recalled in the nearly 90-minute interview. “I didn’t want to be alive anymore when all this happened. Shame like I had never experienced before — the kind of shame that you forget how to breathe. You don’t know where to go. You can’t go outside and get like, a taco.”
“But I was also in this deep desire to hold on,” he added.
The actor described finding faith during his research by surprise, saying that his mindset going into the film was focused on his career, not God.
“The reach-out had happened. I was already there, I had nowhere to go. This was the last stop on the train. There was nowhere else to go — in every sense,” LaBeouf said in the interview.
He continued, “I know now that God was using my ego to draw me to Him. Drawing me away from worldly desires. It was all happening simultaneously. But there would have been no impetus for me to get in my car, drive up [to the monastery] if I didn’t think, ‘Oh, I’m gonna save my career.'”
… LaBeouf told Barron that the traditional form of the Catholic mass — celebrated in Latin — was key in both his conversion and his performance as an actor playing Pio.
When Ferrara asked LaBeouf to use an Italian accent while acting, he refused. The movie had become too personal and too important to wear a “mask” as LaBeouf described it to Barron.
“While we were practicing Latin Mass, I was having genuine emotional experiences, and aside from the fact that as a Neapolitan speaker, [Pio’s] accent wouldn’t have matched Italian anyway, but it felt like that would have taken me out of this thing that felt very personal,” LaBeouf explained.
And watch the trailer for the movie below.