Shia LaBoeuf at the TIFF premiere of Man Down

Shia LaBeouf turned rehab into a writing room for new film

LaBeouf premiered the film at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday in Park City, Utah

Shia LaBeouf latest film was born in an unusual place — court-ordered rehab.

The actor spent time writing the script for his semi-autobiographical “Honey Boy” while he was being treated for substance abuse after a 2017 arrest.

“He wrote this script in rehab and actually sent me an email from there with the script,” said Israeli director Alma Har’el. “So it was pretty mind blowing. I couldn’t say no to that.”

LaBeouf premiered the film at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday in Park City, Utah. He didn’t speak with the media but posed alongside his mother, Shayna Saide, and fellow actors.

The former “Transformers” star plays an alcoholic and abusive father of a child actor, who is played at different ages by Noah Jupe (of “A Quiet Place”) and Lucas Hedges (“Boy Erased”).

“I think it was emotionally difficult for anybody to do what he did and I think nobody has ever done it before,” Har’el said. “He stepped into his own trauma and played his father in it — the most complicated relationship he’s ever had, that defined his life more than anything else.”

LaBeouf had admired an early documentary by Har’el and they’d developed a working relationship over the years. “We did a music video. He was kind enough to finance my second film when nobody but nobody else would,” she said.

In 2017, LaBeouf pleaded guilty to a misdemeanour charge of obstruction stemming from his attempt to elude police following a vulgar public outburst in Georgia.

He was also ordered to pay $2,680 in fines and fees, perform 100 hours of community service, enrol in anger management counselling and complete a drug and alcohol evaluation. That’s when he began on “Honey Boy.”

Har’el said the film shines a light on LaBeouf’s private struggles.

“It’s a story about the things you inherit. Shia definitely inherited a lot of his passion towards acting from his father. But he also inherited other things that he has to deal with for the rest of his life. And he’s trying to do it as best as he can. He had to do it in the public eye, unlike many of us. So it’s been very challenging. And I think this film really kind of deals with that,” she said.

“Honey Boy” is seeking a distributor at Sundance.

Ryan Pearson, The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Indigenous youth arrested during 15-hour occupation to hold press conference Wednesday morning

The speakers are expected to condemn police, RCMP actions towards Indigenous people

Sap thief taps Saanich park maple trees, faces hefty fine

One tree found with four taps in Mount Doug Park

VIDEO: Saanich family competes on first season of ‘Family Feud Canada’

Charania family will face off against the Torres family from Hamilton, Ont.

Victoria resident says WestJet employee uttered racist comment, refused to let her on plane

Customer claims she was told ‘You guys can’t handle your alcohol’ by WestJet employee

Victoria councillors advocate once again for free youth transit passes regionally

The idea was originally rejected by the Victoria Regional Transit Commission in August 2019

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Greater Victoria’s wanted list for the week of Jan. 28

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

POLL: Are you concerned about the coronavirus?

The coronavirus which has sparked concern around the globe has now arrived… Continue reading

Off-duty Nanaimo Mountie takes down would-be ice cream thief

Suspect attempted to steal Dilly Bars from Dairy Queen location on Sunday

Nanaimo man hit with pole in dispute over off-leash dog

RCMP say no charges recommended at this time

Was there a tornado on Vancouver Island Monday?

Suspected phone app glitch gives eerie warning

Work has started on Malahat Skywalk, expected completion in 2021

$15-million project expected to open in spring, 2021

B.C. reports first coronavirus in Vancouver region

First patient visited Wuhan, China, reported symptoms

Sooke Minor Fastball to host coaching clinic

Clinic ideal for those planning to coach U6 to U18 teams

Most Read