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"He Was Very Teary-Eyed:" Shia LaBeouf On Playing His Dad In 'Honey Boy' And Reuniting With Him After 7 Years Of Estrangement

Date November 14, 2019 11:24

Shia LaBeouf's dad was an important part of the actor's career, but they had a really complicated past.

During a sit-down with Interview Magazine in 2014, Shia opened up about how it was like to be a child star and his relationship with his dad. He revealed that the only time his father would talk to him was when it was work-related.

"We manipulate each other," he revealed, adding that they didn't have a "real conversation." Shia also said that some of his best and worst memories were all connected to his father and he referred to this as a "negative gift."

He talked on the difficulty of letting go of his anger with his father but he was working on doing just that.

"He Was Very Teary-Eyed:" Shia LaBeouf On Playing His Dad In 'Honey Boy' And Reuniting With Him After 7 Years Of Estrangement"He Was Very Teary-Eyed:" Shia LaBeouf On Playing His Dad In 'Honey Boy' And Reuniting With Him After 7 Years Of Estrangement"He Was Very Teary-Eyed:" Shia LaBeouf On Playing His Dad In 'Honey Boy' And Reuniting With Him After 7 Years Of EstrangementGetty Images / Ideal Image

Reuniting with his dad

One of the ways through which Shia LaBeouf is working on his feelings for his father is through his autobiographical film Honey Boy.

The 33-year-old actor writes and stars in the movie in which he plays the role of James Lort, a character based on his real father Jeffrey Craig LaBeouf.

"He Was Very Teary-Eyed:" Shia LaBeouf On Playing His Dad In 'Honey Boy' And Reuniting With Him After 7 Years Of Estrangement"He Was Very Teary-Eyed:" Shia LaBeouf On Playing His Dad In 'Honey Boy' And Reuniting With Him After 7 Years Of Estrangement"He Was Very Teary-Eyed:" Shia LaBeouf On Playing His Dad In 'Honey Boy' And Reuniting With Him After 7 Years Of EstrangementGetty Images / Ideal Image

While on the Ellen Show, Shia revealed that to figure out the ending to his film, he had to see his dad for the first time in seven years.

I hadn't seen my dad in seven years and my director, Alma Har'el, who's a wizard, she was like, 'You need to go see your dad.' So I went and saw my dad, recorded that, came home and I had the ending, wrestled it down and that was the process.

The film Honey Boy delved into the time when Shia was on the TV show Even Stevens as a child. The actor played the role of his father, who was a stage dad at the time.

He revealed to Ellen that his dad was emotional when he saw the film.

I basically had him set up a web camera and watched him watch the whole movie. He didn't say much but he felt like I saw him, like, I saw him. I got him. He was very teary-eyed. It was a love letter.

About Honey Boy

The film was first written by Shia during a court-mandated rehab in 2017. It depicts the actor's traumatic childhood and the big impact it had on his life.

A review by Refinery29 stated that Shia created a story that showed the danger of toxic masculinity and how Hollywood often fails its child actors.

"He Was Very Teary-Eyed:" Shia LaBeouf On Playing His Dad In 'Honey Boy' And Reuniting With Him After 7 Years Of Estrangement"He Was Very Teary-Eyed:" Shia LaBeouf On Playing His Dad In 'Honey Boy' And Reuniting With Him After 7 Years Of Estrangement"He Was Very Teary-Eyed:" Shia LaBeouf On Playing His Dad In 'Honey Boy' And Reuniting With Him After 7 Years Of EstrangementGetty Images / Ideal Image

The actor's performance was described as "powerful and raw" which could ignite a strong wave of emotions from viewers.

Based on the story behind the film and subsequent review, it's pretty clear that Honey Boy was Shia's way of working through his past and his pain. And in an interesting way, it also rebuilt a connection between the actor and his father which had been lost for many years.

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