'Even Stevens' 20th Anniversary: Why Shia LaBeouf's Disney Channel role as Louis remains his best even now
'Even Stevens' is best known as Shia LaBeouf's breakout role. LaBeouf played the goofy, childish and mishap-prone Louis Stevens
With the arrival of Disney Plus last year, many millennials were excited that they would get to binge their childhood favorites yet again, including 'Lizzie McGuire', 'That's So Raven', and of course, 'Even Stevens'. The Disney Channel sitcom about the Stevens siblings remains a fan-favorite even today and happens to be the perfect watch during these troubled times.
The show, created by Matt Dearborn, first premiered on Disney Channel exactly 20 years ago. To commemorate the 20th anniversary of 'Even Stevens', the cast members and producers will be reuniting for the first time in many years over Zoom as they catch up on memories from the show. The reunion will also be broadcast on Facebook.
'Even Stevens' is best known as Shia LaBeouf's breakout role. LaBeouf played the goofy, childish, mishap-prone Louis Stevens, the youngest Stevens sibling who is often viewed as imperfect and a prankster. His ongoing rivalry with his older sister, Ren Stevens (Christy Carlson Romano who voiced Kim Possible), puts him at odds with her often.
Louis often does unattractive things — saying nasty words, picking his nose, and so forth, however, endearingly — compared to Disney Channel's usual clean-cut main characters, Louis was a standout. Before Shia LaBeouf became known as an annoying celebrity, he was TV's favorite annoying younger brother. He received a Young Artist Award nomination in 2001 and won a Daytime Emmy Award in 2003 for his role as Louis.
LaBeouf was just 14 when he became an instant star for playing Louis. Between his goofy expressions, ridiculous antics, and trouble-making tendencies, Louis became a fan-favorite, making 'Even Stevens' one of Disney's 2000s classic. Romano also became a fan-favorite as many girls idolized her as the ambitious and smart Ren, who refused to settle for anything less than she deserved.
The series aired 65 episodes before coming to an end three years later. Instead of concluding the show with a typical episode, an 'Even Stevens' movie served as the series finale. The 'Even Stevens Movie' aired in June 2003 and drew over five million viewers as the Stevens family won an all-expenses-paid trip to an island, only to find out they were unknowingly on a reality show. The feature-length installment was the last hurrah for fans of the Stevens family and it was all because of Disney Channel's arbitrary 65-episode max limit rule.
In 2015, at the height of his controversial fame, LaBeouf spent several days watching all his previous work. When 'Even Stevens Movie' came on, LaBeouf laughed so hard he cried at several points — and let's be honest, the early 2000s Disney Channel Original Movies are light years ahead of the ones that came later on and included classics such as 'Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century' and 'Stepsister from Planet Weird'.
In an interview with Entertainment Tonight, LaBeouf said about 'Even Stevens', "Yeah, I mean, I loved doing it. It was a lot of fun. But no, I haven't thought about that." LaBeouf had since gone on to work on bigger productions such as Michael Bay's 'Transformers' series, as well as Lars von Trier's 'Nymphomaniac'. However, for many of us, Louis Stevens still remains LaBeouf's best role.
We have no doubt that Louis helped hone LaBeouf's acting chops while giving us laughs to remember for a lifetime While we likely won't be getting an 'Even Stevens' reboot or revival, fans can watch as the cast and producers reunite on the show's 20th anniversary. The reunion Zoom call will be broadcast live on Facebook on June 1 at 4 pm PST. 'Even Stevens' is also currently available on Disney Plus.