Why ‘Even Stevens’ star Christy Carlson Romano no longer talks to Shia LaBeouf
Christy Carlson Romano and Shia LaBeouf were professionally inseparable in the early 2000s while starring as dueling siblings Ren and Louis on “Even Stevens.”
But behind the scenes of their hit Disney Channel sitcom, the young actors weren’t close. And they still aren’t to this day, according to a recent YouTube video from Romano titled, “Why I Don’t Talk to Shia LaBeouf.”
“Everybody always asks me this question — if we’re still in touch, if we’re still friends,” Romano said in the video, posted this week.
“To be honest, I don’t even really know if we were ever really friends, but we were coworkers. We had ... very good onscreen chemistry.”
Singer-actress FKA twigs has sued ex-boyfriend Shia LaBeouf, alleging physical and emotional abuse. The actor has a long history of bad behavior and arrests.
“Even Stevens,” a family comedy that aired from 2000 to 2003, starred Romano, now 37, as a preppy straight-A student and LaBeouf, now 35, as her haphazard, mischievous little brother.
While candidly detailing her relationship with the “Pieces of a Woman” star, Romano lamented not giving LaBeouf “a little bit more time and energy and love — like a real sister” — during their Disney Channel days.
“People just assume you know people just because you work with them, and you really don’t,” Romano said.
“I just kick myself because ... if I had known anything about him, I could have been a little bit more patient. I don’t know, but I was dealing with ... my own drama, or kid stuff. It just kind of happened that way.”
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LaBeouf recently revisited that period of his life while writing and acting in the autobiographical 2019 film “Honey Boy,” which explores the trauma the performer experienced as a child star struggling with mental health issues and a toxic father.
Adulthood hasn’t exactly been smooth for LaBeouf either. Since the mid-2000s, he has been arrested several times on a variety of charges, ranging from trespassing and disorderly conduct to public intoxication and assault.
In 2020, one of LaBeouf’s “Honey Boy” castmates, singer-songwriter FKA Twigs, filed a lawsuit accusing him of physical, sexual and emotional abuse during a yearlong relationship. LaBeouf has denied some of the allegations while acknowledging that he has “a history of hurting the people closest” to him.
Shia LaBeouf wrote and stars in Alma Har’el’s “Honey Boy,” about his own childhood, also featuring Noah Jupe and Lucas Hedges.
“Watch ‘Honey Boy,’ and it’s like, he’s a completely traumatized young man at the same time that I’m working with him,” Romano said.
“I’m honored that people would think that I would still be in touch with him because it means that we really did a good job of making you guys think that we were real-life brother and sister. But in reality, it just wasn’t like that.”
The vast majority of LaBeouf’s alleged offenses occurred after his stint working with Romano, who later continued her Disney Channel career as the voice of Kim Possible in the popular animated series of the same name about an overachieving cheerleader-turned-teen hero.
Romano admitted to harboring some resentment toward her former TV brother, who graduated quickly from kids programming to the blockbuster “Transformers” film franchise while she pursued higher education and booked roles in lower-profile projects.
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“We went from seeing each other every day to then not seeing each other for years to him being this huge star,” she said. “For a while, I think the ghost of who Shia was and who he became was really frustrating for me.
“I didn’t watch any of his movies. I couldn’t bring myself to watch them because I ... was a bit salty. I felt like he had gotten a better agent, a better manager, and so I felt a little jilted by the whole situation. I was like, ‘Here he is making a big ol’ splash in Hollywood,’ ... There was definitely an undercurrent of regret, but also an undercurrent of ... sibling rivalry, if you will.”
As for whether she would consider reconnecting with her old scene partner, Romano said “that’s a logical question” with a “complex answer,” adding that she “will always love” LaBeouf.
“I have a very specific amount of time and energy that I can put towards having anyone in my life,” she said. “I just don’t have a ton of time. If I’m around somebody or taking the time to invest in a friendship, it needs to be with somebody that I can trust understands and respects me on an equal level.
“I’m not sure how he ever felt about me, to be honest with you. He never really let me know. Sadly, I feel like there was a missed opportunity to bond.”
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