US actor Shia LaBeouf, who was raised around both Jewish and Christian traditions, reveals to Bishop Robert Barron that he converted to Catholicism after being cast in the titular role for an upcoming movie about Italian monk Padre Pio. 

LaBeouf, 36, said he stayed in a monastery as part of his research for the role and said he was drawn to the spirituality of the religion as he battled suicidal thoughts and deep-rooted feelings of shame. 

In a new interview with Irish American Bishop Robert Barron, who spoke at the World Meeting of Families in Dublin in 2018, LaBeouf revealed that he "had a gun on the table" and planned to end his life. 

"I didn't want to be alive anymore when all this happened. Shame like I had never experienced before — the kind of shame that you forget how to breathe. You don't know where to go. You can't go outside and get like, a taco," LaBeouf said. 

LaBeouf said he felt hopeless but also held a "deep desire to hold on."

He told Bishop Barron that he did not accept the role of Padre Pio to find God but believes his newfound fate was part of God's plan. 

"I know now that God was using my ego to draw me to Him. Drawing me away from worldly desires. It was all happening simultaneously," LaBeouf said. 

"But there would have been no impetus for me to get in my car, drive up [to the monastery] if I didn't think, 'Oh, I'm gonna save my career.'"

He said learning about atonement and forgiveness in the Catholic faith allowed him to believe that he deserved a second chance in life. 

"It was seeing other people who have sinned beyond anything I could ever conceptualize also being found in Christ that made me feel like, 'Oh, that gives me hope'.

"I started hearing experiences of other depraved people who had found their way in this, and it made me feel like I had permission." 

You can watch Shia LeBeouf in conversation with Bishop Robert Barron here: