Shia LaBeouf is profoundly grateful for one of the darkest moments of his adult life.
In the two years since a Georgia police officer put LaBeouf behind bars for public intoxication, the 33-year-old has entered rehab, written a screenplay inspired by his own upbringing, and brought those words to life. And while onstage accepting an award for that new film, "Honey Boy," LaBeouf took a moment to thank the cop who saw him at his worst.
"I want to thank the police officer who arrested me in Georgia, for changing my life," LaBeouf reportedly said onstage at the Hollywood Film Awards on Sunday night, eliciting some laughter from a few people in the audience who didn't immediately realize he was speaking from the heart. He also thanked his therapist and sponsor.
LeBeouf pleaded guilty in the arrest, and addition to paying a fine and completing 100 hours of community service, he was ordered to enroll in anger management counseling and undergo a drug and alcohol evaluation. It was during rehab when he wrote the script for "Honey Boy," which is an autobiographical retelling of his own childhood in the spotlight.
The actor started doing stand-up at 10 years old and was cast at 14 as the star of Disney Channel's "Even Stevens." In his later teen years, he starred in "Transformers," "Disturbia" and other hit films, but substance abuse and other issues would slow his career and contribute to a string of strange and highly-publicized incidents.
LaBeouf plays not himself in the film, but rather the on-screen child's alcoholic and abusive father. Although it's evident that his relationship with his parents has seen its ups and downs, he also thanked his parents Sunday night during his acceptance speech.
In presenting LaBeouf with the screenwriting award, Robert Downey Jr. called the movie "damn near perfect," saying it is "easily the best and bravest film I have seen in years."