There are two distinct reasons why Honey Boy , out this week, is both a powerful and deeply painful film to watch. The first is the story — about a young boy trying to make it as an actor while living in a motel with his emotionally and physically abusive father who struggles with sobriety. As the boy grows up and becomes famous, he is crippled by his childhood trauma, only to become destructive, angry, and lost. In one particularly gutting scene, year-old Otis Noah Jupe is asked by his father, James Shia LaBeouf , if he understands how it feels to be paid by his son. He takes on the heady task of inhabiting the role of his father as he hits the child version of himself, berates him, forgets about him, screams at him, isolates him from his other relationships, fills him with fear, and, eventually, is left with nearly nothing. After gaining mainstream success at 14 on the Disney Channel and starring in a few poorly reviewed but financially successful blockbusters, his behavior suddenly became baffling: He appeared in a few Lars von Trier movies and dabbled in some bizarre performance art, which appeared to be an attempt to both interrogate and reject his fame.
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This article contains mentions of rape and sexual assault, and may be triggering to some readers. All reports indicate that it finally gives us an insight into why the troubled actor has coped with fame and fortune as he has. But at the time, the party never stopped for him. After he decided to get into acting, LaBeouf hustled to get parts in television commercials. From there, he starred in movies such as Holes and Constantine. But it would eventually transpire that LaBeouf did not have the same public charisma as the icon he was likened to. As the pressure of work increased, the star turned to alcohol as a crutch. During his 20s, LaBeouf developed a reputation for being rude, drunken, violent and pretentious. He eventually apologised, but the damage to his credibility had been done. Other 'performance art' moments included locking himself in an elevator and watching 29 of his movies in a New York theatre for three days straight.
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Some better than others. Few as raw and intimate as what he wrote. He wrote about himself and his father. His dad, Jeffrey LaBeouf, had served in Vietnam and been a rodeo clown. He was aggressively supportive, riddled with jealousy and, according to the film, occasionally abusive. She at once responded that they had to turn it into a movie. I was going to join the Peace Corps. The film, which Amazon Studios opens in theaters this weekend, is radically autobiographical for such a well-known movie star. LaBeouf considers it an act of exorcism and liberation.
Skip navigation! Story from Movies. In his new film, Honey Boy , Shia LaBeouf plays "James Lort," a Vietnam vet, clown literally , and drug addict who earns a living as his preteen actor son's guardian on the set of a TV show. Other than the name change, there's very little fictional about this character, who is really Jeffrey LaBeouf, Shia's father , in a script the younger LaBeouf began writing in court-appointed rehab. We all know how the story winds up for present-day Shia, but where is real-life Jeffrey these days? Jeffrey's current whereabouts have a lot to do with his life before he met Shia's mother, Shayna, and had their son in We don't know much about the elder LaBeouf's early life , other than the fact that he's of Cajun descent and grew up in San Francisco, and trained as a classical clown.