You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Shia LaBeouf Likens Making His Biopic ‘Honey Boy’ to an ‘Exorcism’

Shia LaBeouf is telling all. Sort of.

The actor both wrote and stars in “Honey Boy,” which tells the story of his turbulent childhood under the care of his alcoholic and drug-addicted father.

LaBeouf wrote the screenplay while in rehab after sharing some of his writing with his director and friend, Alma Har’el. “I was just sending her stuff that I was writing down,” LaBeouf remembered while promoting the film at the Variety Studio presented by AT&T during the Toronto Film Festival. “I had a flashlight and was rummaging through the attics of my soul trying to figure stuff out, figuring my past out…She was like, ‘Oh, this is a movie.’”

Directed by Har’el, “Honey Boy” chronicles LaBeouf when he was a child star on the Disney Channel. He lived in a seedy Hollywood motel with his father, who not only mentally and physically abused his son, but also introduced him to smoking cigarettes and marijuana before he was even a teenager.

LaBeouf would eventually find himself battling alcoholism and substance abuse. His run-ins with the law became tabloid fodder. His last arrest and eventual court-ordered rehab occurred two years ago while filming “Peanut Butter Falcon” in Savannah, Ga.

In the movie, young LaBeouf (named Otis in the film) is played by Noah Jupe while Lucas Hedges plays him as an adult when he was in rehab.

“Honey Boy” proved to be therapeutic. “You excise demons,” LaBeouf said. “This felt a little bit like an exorcism.”

But not everyone was too keen on LaBeouf making the movie. “My whole team, my whole professional team, was not with it. They were not wanting me to do this.”

“But at that point, I didn’t have a whole lot to lose,” he said. “I was in a wild spot in my life.”

Like LaBeouf, Har’el is a child of an alcoholic. “I really feel I made this film for children of alcoholics,” she said. “They’re all like my brothers and sisters and when I show the film I kind of realize the whole world is dealing with daddy issues right now, so it’s kind of become bigger than that.”

As for his current relationship with his father, LaBeouf said, “He’s a very happy dude. I talked to him in the car on the way up here. He’s such a sweet old man now.”

“It’s complicated still like any relationship with a parent but we’re in a way better place and he’s in a way better place,” he said.

LaBeouf has no regrets: “Smooth waters never made a skilled sailor and the s— just sort of helped my life big time.”

“Honey Boy” will be released on Nov. 8.

More Film

  • Benjamin Wallfisch - scoring session, Abbey

    Composer Benjamin Wallfisch Signs With Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency

    Composer Benjamin Wallfisch has signed with the Gorfaine/Schwartz Agency (GSA) for worldwide representation, in partnership with London-based agency COOL Music Ltd. A top composer, whose scoring credits include “It Chapter Two,” Shazam!” Hellboy,” “Hidden Figures” and “Hostile Planet,” among others, Wallfisch has worked on over 75 feature films and is a member of the BAFTA [...]

  • The Moneychanger

    Toronto Film Review: ‘The Moneychanger’

    Uruguayan auteur Federico Veiroj (“The Apostate,” “Belmonte”) broadens his usual intimate dramatic scope to diminishing returns for his fifth feature, “The Moneychanger,” . Adapted from a novella by compatriot Juan Enrique Gruber, the period (mid-1950s to mid-1970s) tale centers on the eponymous character, an amoral currency exchanger, who winds up laundering some of the dirtiest [...]

  • Send Me to the Clouds

    Film Review: ‘Send Me to the Clouds’

    The social and economic pressures felt by China’s “leftover women” — referring to those older than 26 and unmarried — are examined in “Send Me to the Clouds,” a rewarding dramedy about a 30-ish journalist seeking financial reward and sexual fulfillment after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Bold by mainland standards for presenting a positive [...]

  • Jamie Bell Without Remorse

    Jamie Bell Joins Michael B. Jordan in 'Without Remorse' Adaptation (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jamie Bell is in final negotiations to join Michael B. Jordan in Paramount’s adaptation of the Tom Clancy novel “Without Remorse.” Stefano Sollima, who most recently helmed “Sicario: Day of the Soldado,” is directing from a script by “Sicaro” screenwriter Taylor Sheridan. As previously announced, Jordan is starring as operations officer John Clark, also known [...]

  • Elizabeth McGovern, Laura Carmichael, Jim Carter,

    'Downton Abbey' Movie Sequel? Producers Tease That They Have 'Some Ideas'

    “Downton Abbey” holds the record as the most-nominated international show at the Emmy Awards with 69 nominations and 15 wins — and now, it stands a chance to nab an Oscar. More than three years after the beloved series signed off the air following six critically-acclaimed seasons, “Downton Abbey” is making its big-screen debut. “It [...]

  • Todd Phillips Joaquin Phoenix Joker Movie

    What's Woker Than 'Joker'? Film Critics Made Everything Political at Fall Festivals

    “Is it just me, or is it getting crazier out there?” asks Joaquin Phoenix, playing a deranged incel version of the DC supervillain in “Joker,” the unconventional comic book movie that’s sucked up much of the air from the fall festival circuit. Like an aggro caricature of the “involuntary celibates” who troll message boards online, [...]

  • Running Against the Wind

    Young Africans' Dreams Are Focus of Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda Oscar Picks

    Films about young Africans trying to fulfill their dreams in the face of war, poverty, tradition and other forms of adversity have been submitted for Oscar consideration by three East African nations. The selections by Kenya, Ethiopia and Uganda to compete in the international feature film category reflect the relative youth of filmmaking in the [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content