Shia LaBeouf is finding “Holes” in his own autobiographical film.
The “Padre Pio” actor wrote and starred in 2019 film “Honey Boy” detailing his childhood stardom and fraught relationship with his abusive father, whom LaBeouf portrayed in the movie. Noah Jupe and Lucas Hedges play younger versions of LaBeouf in the film directed by Alma Har’el (“Lady in the Lake“).
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“Disturbia” actor LaBeouf penned the screenplay in 2017 after staying in a court-ordered rehab center in Connecticut, where he was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. LaBeouf’s therapist encouraged him to write about the traumatic trigger of his upbringing: living with his ex-convict father in a San Fernando Valley motel.
Now, three years after the film’s release, LaBeouf explained during Jon Bernthal’s “Real Ones” podcast that “Honey Boy” took creative liberties with the character of his father and is not an autobiographical account of LaBeouf’s childhood.
“I wrote this narrative, which was just fucking nonsense,” LaBeouf said. “My dad was so loving to me my whole life. Fractured, sure. Crooked, sure. Wonky, for sure. But never was not loving, never was not there. He was always there… and I’d done a world press tour about how fucked he was as a man.”
LaBeouf continued, “Here’s a man who I’ve done vilified on a grand scale. I turned the knob up on certain shit that wasn’t real. My dad never hit me, never. He spanked me once, one time. And the story that gets painted in ‘Honey Boy’ is this dude is abusing his kid all the time.”
LaBeouf called “Honey Boy” a “big ‘woe is me’ story about how fucked my father is.”
The “Transformers” alum added, “I wronged him. I remember getting on the phone with him, and him being like, ‘I never read this stuff in the script you sent.’ Because I didn’t put that shit in there.”
LaBeouf admitted to “bullshitting” his father to get permission to make the film, but his own reality “didn’t position me as this wounded, fractured child that you could root for, which is what I was using [my dad] for.”
Since the “Honey Boy” premiere, LaBeouf shared that he called his father and “took accountability for all of that and knew very clearly that I couldn’t take it back.”
“My dad was going to live with this certain narrative about him on a public scale for a very long time, probably the rest of his life,” LaBeouf summed up.
The actor, who is over 600 days sober, additionally denied causing “Honey Boy” co-star and former partner FKA Twigs “any injury or loss” and said she is not “entitled to any relief or damages whatsoever” as their April 2023 court dates approaches amid abuse allegations. LaBeouf recently admitted that he “hurt that woman” in reference to Twigs, and claimed he is trying to be accountable in the wake of #MeToo.
LaBeouf additionally released text messages, emails, and a video Olivia Wilde sent him to prove that he was not fired from upcoming film “Don’t Worry Darling.” LaBeouf stated that he “quit” the feature over a lack of rehearsal time opposite Florence Pugh; he was later replaced by Harry Styles.
Back in 2019 while promoting “Honey Boy,” LaBeouf called himself “nuclear for quite a while,” sharing that even his mother “told me to fuck off.” Penning “Honey Boy” was not “thinking it was material for a movie” but rather with the intention of being a cathartic therapy exercise for LaBeouf at the time. He also “toned down” the portrayal of his father to not “make him look evil,” as LaBeouf exclusively told IndieWire.
“I have always loved my father deeply,” LaBeouf said. “I guess until I had truly fucked up, I couldn’t look at it like that. I had a chip on my shoulder, it does something to you. When life hit me on the chin, my father and I went through similar things, shame was the connective tissue for us. I had more empathy for my father than myself.”
At the TIFF premiere for “Honey Boy,” LaBeouf opened the film saying, “I really only made this for two people. Selfish for myself to survive where I was at, and for my father. He’s with it, he’s proud.”
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