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Shia LaBeouf to portray young St. Padre Pio in upcoming biopic

Shia LaBeouf

Featureflash Photo Agency | Shutterstock

J-P Mauro - published on 08/28/21

The 'Transformers' star spent time with Capuchins to prepare for the role.

An upcoming biopic on the early years of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, or Padre Pio, has secured Shia LaBeouf in the starring role. To get into character, LaBeouf spent a few weeks with a Capuchin community in Northern California. 

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A post shared by Hai Ho OFMCap (@frhaiho)

Shia with the Capuchins

Shia recently appeared in a video taken by Father Hai Ho, a Capuchin from the Western American Province in Northern California and shared on Instagram. The Transformers star seemed moved by his experiences within the religious community. LaBeouf said: 

“I’m Shia LaBeouf and I’m completely immersed in something way bigger than myself. I don’t know if I’ve ever met a group of men as immersed in anything in my life. It is super attractive to see people giving themselves to something so divine and it is heartwarming to know that there is a brotherhood like this that exists. I’ve been met with nothing but grace since I’ve been here. I am very honored to meet you guys.”

Shia is no stranger to religious discovery, especially while getting into a role. During the filming of Fury, in 2014, Shia converted from Judaism to Christianity.According to Churchpop, Shia told Interview Magazine: 

“I found God when I made ‘Fury.’ I became a Christian … in a real way. I could only have read the prayers that were on paper, but it was something real that really saved me.”

The movie

In the social media post, LaBeouf could be seen posing for a picture with the friars. When asked about the movie, he explained: 

“We are making a film, me, Abel Ferrara and Willem Dafoe, we are making a movie called Padre Pio, about the great Padre Pio, and we are trying to get as close to the accurate depiction of what it is to be a friar as possible. And trying to get as close as possible to the human, tangible, tactile relationship that this man had with Christ. And we are bringing the Good News to the world.”

Variety reports that the film is in pre-production, and is scheduled to start filming in October. Director Abel Ferrara plans to shoot the movie on location in Puglia, Italy. Ferrara has previously made a short film about Padre Pio. 

CatholicismEntertainmentMoviesPadre PioSaints
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