Shia LaBeoufs latest movie, “Honey Boy”, was actually written in a rather unusual place, court-ordered rehab.
The actor wrote the script for his semi-autobiographical movie Honey Boy while he was being treated for substance abuse following a 2017 arrest.
He wrote this script in rehab and actually sent me an email from there with the script, said director Alma Harel. So it was pretty mind-blowing. I couldnt say no to that.
LaBeouf directed the film at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. He did not speak with reporters bust posted alongside the cast and his mother Shayna Said.
LaBeouf plays an alcoholic and abusive father of a child actor, who is played at different ages by actor Noah Jupe of A Quiet Place and Lucas Hedges from Boy Erased.
I think it was emotionally difficult for anybody to do what he did and I think nobody has ever done it before, Harel said. He stepped into his own trauma and played his father in it the most complicated relationship hes ever had, that defined his life more than anything else.
LaBeouf said he admired an early documentary by Alma Harel and they developed a business relationship of 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 misdemeanor charge of obstruction following an attempt to elude police following a public outburst in Georgia.
He was ordered to pay $2,680 in fines, perform 100 hours of community service, enroll in anger management counseling and complete ad rug and alcohol evaluation. That is when he began working on Honey Boy.
Harel said the film focuses on LaBeoufs private life.
Its 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 hes trying to do it as best as he can. He had to do it in the public eye, unlike many of us. So its been very challenging. And I think this film really kind of deals with that, she said.
Amazon purchases the distribution rights to the movie for $5 million.