Strange (And Often Dark) Behind The Scenes Secrets From Even Stevens

Even Stevens is such an iconic millennial touchstone that you'd be forgiven for thinking it ran for more than three years. And yet, that's all the time that the Disney Channel TV show was in our lives for; 65 episodes from 2000 to 2003. And the Even Stevens-centered surprises don't stop there. For anyone in their twenties, Louis, Ren, Twitty, Donnie, and of course Beans have always been there for us through good times and bad. Unfortunately for the real cast and crew behind the scenes of Even Stevens, the times seemed to be mostly bad, as lurking beneath the bright family show are plenty of stories that seem pretty dark.


Of course, the series featured a young Shia LaBeouf, and it helped to catapult him to child stardom. And just like most child stars, that catapult landed him on a rocky road that wavered between big success and even bigger downfalls. But for every fact you didn't know about Shia LaBeouf, comes another fact you didn't know about the show that started it all, and based on what we've found out there are some pretty shocking facts. There were disturbances on the set that made it a pretty rough place for a kid to work, as well as just plain weird occurrences that must have muddied the waters on this show even further. Read on to find out some dark behind-the-scenes secrets from the set of Even Stevens.

  • Shia LaBeouf Had A Troubled Childhood

    Shia LaBeouf Had A Troubled Childhood
    Photo: Disney Channel

    Despite becoming rich and famous at a young age, Shia Labeouf’s childhood was far from easy. He grew up in a poor family and wasn’t from a showbiz background, nor did he have the stage school training you would associate with child actors. In fact, LaBeouf would often get in trouble as a kid and had trouble sticking around in one place for long. According to LaBeouf, he'd been kicked out of every school he ever attended. After stealing Pokemon games and Tamagotchis, LaBeouf was eventually arrested in grade school for stealing shoes – something he later acted out via his character in Holes.

  • LaBeouf Was Cast Because He Was A Troublemaker

    LaBeouf Was Cast Because He Was A Troublemaker
    Photo: Disney Channel

    When LaBeouf was plucked out of a life that could've gone down an even darker path, he knew the reason why. “They didn’t hire me because I was a good looking dude,” LaBeouf told the Hollywood Reporter in 2011. “They hired me because I had no fear, no respect for authority, and no respect for boundaries.” For the wise-cracking, troublemaking Louis Stevens, Shia LaBeouf was the perfect character actor. The real-life nuisance added an edge to Even Stevens that many highly-trained child actors couldn't pull off, and the series ended up being one of Disney Channel's biggest hits.

  • LaBeouf Had Himself Legally Emancipated At Age 15

    LaBeouf Had Himself Legally Emancipated At Age 15
    Photo: Disney Channel

    Emancipation is when a young person legally liberates themselves from their parents. It often only happens when the child can show that they are self-sufficient, or that their parents aren't capable guardians. For Shia LaBeouf, both were true. At just 15, LaBeouf made this drastic move and moved out on his own. And though LaBeouf's emancipation was due to a troubled childhood, he’s not the only young actor to have done this – more recently, Ariel Winter of Modern Family fame did the same thing.

  • The Cast Was Very "Disney Friendly," But Shia Felt Like An Outsider

    The Cast Was Very "Disney Friendly," But Shia Felt Like An Outsider
    Photo: Disney Channel

    For the other child stars on the set of Even Stevens, life on a Disney Channel show was a dream come true. The parties were everything you'd dream Disney tween-life parties were like in the early 2000s. According to Labeouf, "they would invite the Hilary Duffs and Miley Cyruses to go to the Jonas Brothers concert, and I'd be there with my friends. But we were outsiders." Despite looking like he got along so well with his cast when the cameras rolled, LaBeouf never felt like one of the Disney child star gang, going so far as to say that, "it felt distant."


  • LaBeouf's Dad Was Accused Of Sexual Harassment On Set

    LaBeouf's Dad Was Accused Of Sexual Harassment On Set
    Photo: Department of Justice

    We’ve already seen how Shia’s upbringing was troubled, but that trouble followed him on set in the form of his dad. His father was accused, among other things, of being a nuisance on set and distracting his son, as well as the rest of the cast and crew. In fact, Shia's dad, Jeffrey LaBeouf, had gone a lot further than simple distraction, as he'd been accused of sexual harassment on the set of Even Stevens. The incident happened during filming in 2000, and had happened to an unnamed actress. Jeffrey LaBeouf has since been in trouble with the law for multiple serious sex offenses, and had even been jailed for attempted rape before LaBeouf was born. 

  • Jefrey LaBeouf Attacked A Man On The Set

    Jefrey LaBeouf Attacked A Man On The Set
    Photo: Disney Channel

    Jeffrey LaBeouf had caused another scandal on the set of Even Stevens when he attacked a Disney executive. The man went to give Jeffrey a congratulatory hug and, according to Shia, his dad almost threw the man against a wall. Add to this the fact that Jeffrey was also accused of using anti-gay remarks on set, and you start to see why having him around the set of a children's show became a big issue. More reports of the attack on set claim that the Disney executive was himself gay, making Jeffrey LaBeouf's attack all the more appalling.