The 31-year-old actor gave a rare interview to Esquire magazine for their April 2018 issue, his first since completing court-ordered rehab, which he started last fall. Last July, LaBeouf was arrested for public drunkenness, disorderly conduct and obstruction in Savannah, Georgia.
Interestingly enough, LaBeouf plays tennis champ John McEnroe in his new film, Borg vs. McEnroe, who's also known for his fiery temper. But the actor says the similarities stop there.
"McEnroe was a master at his rage,” he says. “I’m a buffoon. My public outbursts are failures. They’re not strategic. They’re a struggling motherf**ker showing his a** in front of the world.”
“I’ve got to look at my failures in the face for a while,” he continues. “I need to take ownership of my sh** and clean up my side of the street a bit before I can go out there and work again, so I’m trying to stay creative and learn from my mistakes. I’ve been falling forward for a long time. Most of my life. The truth is, in my desperation, I lost the plot.”
LaBeouf says he was diagnosed with PTSD at rehab, stemming from childhood trauma. The actor says he overheard his mother being raped when the two lived in a seedier part of Los Angeles.
“The first time I got arrested with a real charge, it stemmed from the same sh**," he explains. "Some guy bumped into my mother’s car with his car in a parking lot, and my head went right to ‘You need to avenge your mother!’ So I went after the dude with a knife. ... I’ve always thought somebody was coming in. My whole life.”
LaBeouf also talks about his rocky relationship with his father -- who struggled with heroin addiction -- whom he refers to as his "gasoline." Still, he stresses that he also doesn't blame his dad for his troubles.
"My dad handed me a lot, and his legacy was an emotional one," he says. "And it wasn’t scarring. He handed me texture. My dad blessed me that way.”
The Transformers star is also candid about his own addictions, including alcohol.
"My way of running is to drink," he says bluntly. "I’m a good old-fashioned drunk -- whiskey and beer -- and have been since I touched alcohol.”
As for his arrest in Georgia, LaBeouf doesn't pull any punches. In a video of LaBeouf's arrest obtained by ET, the actor repeatedly swore at his arresting officers, also telling a black officer that the president "doesn't give a f**k about you, and you wanna do what? Arrest white people?"
LaBeouf is clearly ashamed of his actions.
"What went on in Georgia was mortifying," he says. "White privilege and desperation and disaster... It came from a place of self-centered delusion... It was me trying to absolve myself of guilt for getting arrested. I f**ked up.”
On a lighter note, LaBeouf later discusses his relationship with Kanye West, and says that the rapper actually has a lot of his clothes, including his Indiana Jones hat. The actor says West asked for them when he visited his home, after admiring his style.
“Around the same time, I took my mother to his concert,” LaBeouf shares. “She is, of course, obsessed with Kanye West. When I brought her backstage, he was a f**king sweetheart to her. And it just felt fair. So I’m like, ‘Go for it, my guy. Take everything you want.’ And he did. He took all my f**king clothes. Me and him haven’t really been in contact since he blew up onstage and, you know, sh** on me.”
According to the magazine, LaBeouf is referring to West's concert rant in November 2016, when he said, “Shia LaBeouf: Kid Cudi feels a way. Call him.” It is unclear what West is referring to, though West did have a feud with his one-time protege, Kid Cudi.
Still, LaBeouf says he's since reached out to the fellow controversial star.
“I f**king love Kanye West," he notes. "He’s going through a lot. And I don’t know where he’s at or what he’s doing.”
“The dude has a lot of my sh**,” he adds.
For more on LaBeouf's Georgia arrest, watch the video below: