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

Vacuum sparks fire in Fernwood basement

Crews extinguish small fire in Empress Avenue home

Victoria Humane Society takes revenue hit after donation bins vandalized

Organization removes clothing donation bins after contents removed, scattered

Sooke, Sidney businesses win top awards during the BC Food and Beverage Awards

Sheringham Distillery won Gold Award for Product of Year while Cascadia Seaweed won Innovation Award

First Nations market fills Colwood’s Royal Beach

Event Wednesday in honour of Orange Shirt Day

Thief steals ice cream bars from Oak Bay Dairy Queen

Oak Bay resident out nearly $10,000 as CRA scam strikes again

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Ahead of likely second wave, 60% of Canadians relaxing COVID-19 measures

Proportion of Canadians not following safety measures has dropped by 3 per cent in the past two weeks

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Canada’s population tops 38 million, even as COVID-19 pandemic slows growth

Immigration, the top population driver, decreased due to the pandemic

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Shawnigan Lake’s Kubica gets 25 to life for murder in California

Former Shawnigan Lake man convicted of killing woman in 1990

Most Read