The child TV star is making the transition to Hollywood heavyweight, with leading roles in 'Disturbia,' 'The Transformers,' and maybe even the upcoming 'Indiana Jones' sequel.
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Shia LaBeouf has already ticked off a list of milestones that are rare for the average 20-year-old. He won a Daytime Emmy at age 17 and bought his own home a year later. Last month, a Las Vegas nightclub offered him $35,000 to celebrate his upcoming 21st birthday there.
But it's a five-minute meeting with Steven Spielberg that the actor ranks as one of the top experiences of his young life.
"The handshake is a big deal for me," says LaBeouf, who met the director on the set of his latest film, "Disturbia," which Spielberg produced. "Sometimes it's too strong – as though they're trying to do a power play. Sometimes it's too weak, and you feel like they're submitting. He had the perfect handshake. The perfect amount of attention, the perfect squeeze. It was just a really good handshake."
LaBeouf has been shaking plenty of hands lately, as he makes the transition from child TV star to bona fide movie star with this summer's release of "The Transformers," Michael Bay's big-budget live-action film based on the animated robot series. Also due this summer: "Surf's Up," a computer-animated tale about surfing penguins, featuring LaBeouf's voice for one of the main characters. Adding to all the hype are reports that Spielberg wants him to play the son of Harrison Ford's Indiana Jones in the much anticipated fourth installment of the series. All of which explains why he is slated to host "Saturday Night Live" this week.
While LaBeouf calls the Indiana Jones reports "just a rumor" and says he hasn't been approached about it, the 20-year-old clearly has made an impression on the iconic director. More than 100 actors auditioned for the lead role in "Disturbia" before LaBeouf came in and read for it. Director D.J. Caruso was impressed enough to bypass studio protocol and send the audition tape directly to Spielberg.