“I wasn’t planning on making a movie. I thought the actor thing was over,” LaBeouf said of his time in rehab following his 2017 arrest. “I signed up to go to the Peace Corps and then went into this rehab facility and was there for two months.”
While in rehab, he attended therapy sessions and was told that writing was a great way to get through his childhood trauma. He ended up writing the script for Honey Boy, based on his childhood and his turbulent relationship with his father.
“I’d written this thing and plans changed. When I got out I wasn’t going to do the peace corps no more,” LaBeouf said.
Luckily, the volunteer organization was understanding of his decision. “They were very peaceful about it,” he said laughing.
LaBeouf was arrested in 2017 for public drunkenness and went on a racist and expletive-filled tirade at police officers. On Sunday, he accepted an award for Honey Boy‘s script at the Hollywood Film Awards and expressed his gratitude for the arrest.
“I want to thank the police officer who arrested me in Georgia for changing my life,” he said. He went on to thank “my therapist and my sponsor for saving my life” and also extended his gratitude to his parents “for giving me life.”
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In the film, LaBeouf portrays a version of his father, Jeffrey LaBeouf, who has separated from his wife and is raising his young son and child actor, Otis, played by Noah Jupe, while living at a motel.
The movie jumps from Otis’ childhood as the star of a popular children’s show — think Disney Channel’s Even Stevens — to his future as a successful but troubled box office star played by Lucas Hedges.
Honey Boy is in theaters Friday.