Shia LaBeouf has announced that he will be playing the role of his father, Jeffrey Craig LaBeouf, in a movie he has written. The movie is called Honey Boy and is based at least partly on the Transformers star’s early life. Lucas Hedges (Lady Bird, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri) will star in the Shia LaBeouf role.
This is something of an odd move, considering that Shia LaBeouf is a sprightly 31 years old. Biopics tend to be focused on people who have varied achievements over a long, eventful life, while LaBeouf has yet to reach middle age.
The movie will focus on his early career as a child actor and the turbulent relationship he had with his estranged father. In a recent interview with Esquire, he described his father as ‘my gasoline’, crediting him with being the reason he began acting. While Jeffrey LaBeouf reportedly abused alcohol and drugs while raising his son, the actor is quick to confirm that he has a good relationship with his father, stating “He handed me texture. My dad blessed me that way.” Presumably he will be drawing on this as part of his preparation for the role.
If this seems to be a rather self-indulgent vanity project, that may be due to the public perception of LaBeouf. He is no stranger to odd career choices and controversy, and is arguably now better known for his off-screen antics than his on-screen roles. He first raised eyebrows when he attended the 2014 Berlin International Film Festival with a paper bag over his face that had ‘I am not famous anymore’ written on the front. He has since gone on to broadcast a live feed of himself watching all of his movies back to back, record a motivational video and draw the ire of the alt-right with his #HEWILLNOTDIVIDEUS anti-Trump protest. I’ve also been unable to find any evidence that he has denied being a cannibal though I’m quite sure he isn’t one.
Honey Boy will be directed by Alma Har’el and does not currently have an expected release date.
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