Shia LaBeouf admits he made up claims about father's abuse to promote 'Honey Boy'

·Contributor
·4 min read

Watch: Shia LaBeouf admits he wronged his father with Honey Boy portrayal

Shia LaBeouf has confessed to making up claims about his father's abusive behaviour in order to promote the movie Honey Boy, admitting that he "turned the knob up on certain s*** that wasn't real".

LaBeouf wrote the script for the acclaimed 2019 film, which was directed by Alma Har'el and featured the star portraying a version of his own father.

Read more: Honey Boy director supports FKA Twigs amid LaBeouf abuse claims

At the time of the film's release, LaBeouf said the story was inspired by his own life and compared it to an exorcism, with Lucas Hedges — and Noah Jupe in the character's younger years — playing a troubled young movie star based on the Transformers actor himself.

But now the 36-year-old star has confessed that he "wrote this narrative which was just f***ing nonsense", in an interview with Jon Bernthal on his podcast Real Ones — reported via EW.

Shia LaBeouf says he made up the stories of his father's abuse he told in the semi-autobiographical movie Honey Boy. (Amazon Studios)
Shia LaBeouf says he made up the stories of his father's abuse he told in the semi-autobiographical movie Honey Boy. (Amazon Studios)

LaBeouf said: "My dad was so loving to me my whole life. Fractures? Sure. Crooked? Sure. Wonky? For sure, but never was not loving, never was not there. He was always there.

"And I'd done a world press tour about how f***ed he was as a man. Honey Boy is basically like a big 'woe is me' story about how f***ed my father is and I wronged him."

Read more: Shia LaBeouf says he wrestled naked with Tom Hardy

LaBeouf had previously recounted the story of showing the script to his father, but has now admitted that the finished film bore little resemblance to the script his dad saw.

The star confessed that the one time his dad hit him was when he was caught smoking a cigarette, but that this anecdote "didn't position me as this wounded, fractured child that you could root for, which is what I was using him for".

Shia LaBeouf opened up about the mistruths around Honey Boy in a podcast interview with fellow actor Jon Bernthal. (Jon Bernthal/Real Ones)
Shia LaBeouf opened up about the mistruths around Honey Boy in a podcast interview with fellow actor Jon Bernthal. (Jon Bernthal/Real Ones)

LaBeouf, who recently revealed that he has been sober for almost two years, said he spoke to his father on the phone in order to apologise for the way he had been characterised.

"When I got on the phone with him, I took accountability for all that and knew very clearly that I couldn't take it back," said the actor.

Read more: Dakota Johnson calls co-star LaBeouf "greatest actor of his generation"

He added: "My dad was going to live with this certain narrative about him, on a public scale, for a very long time. Probably the rest of his life."

Honey Boy received rave reviews — its Rotten Tomatoes approval score is 94% — and appeared on a number of critics' lists of the best films of 2019.

Shia LaBeouf said he has tried to make amends with his father after the release of Honey Boy. (Getty)
Shia LaBeouf said he has tried to make amends with his father after the release of Honey Boy. (Getty)

LaBeouf has been embroiled in a number of controversies in recent years, including his former partner FKA Twigs filing a lawsuit alleging sexual battery and assault — claims denied by LaBeouf.

It was reported last year that the former couple had taken part in settlement talks ahead of a possible trial.

Read more: Shia LaBeouf says 2017 arrest helped him to change his life

More recently, LaBeouf's departure from the upcoming Olivia Wilde film Don't Worry Darling — in which he was replaced by Harry Styles — has sparked a war of words in the press.

Wilde, directing her second movie after high school comedy Booksmart, claimed she sacked LaBeouf in order to protect co-lead Florence Pugh.

She told Variety that his process seemed to require "a combative energy" that was incompatible with her desires for the set.

Harry Styles replaced Shia LaBeouf alongside Florence Pugh in Don't Worry Darling. (Warner Bros)
Harry Styles replaced Shia LaBeouf alongside Florence Pugh in Don't Worry Darling. (Warner Bros)

Wilde added: "For our film, what we really needed was an energy that was incredibly supportive. Particularly with a movie like this, I knew that I was going to be asking Florence to be in very vulnerable situations, and my priority was making her feel safe and making her feel supported."

LaBeouf has disputed Wilde's description of what happened, claiming in an email published by Variety that he quit the project himself due to a lack of rehearsal time.

Read more: Olivia Wilde explains her "no a**holes" rule on film sets

He added: "Firing me never took place, Olivia. And while I fully understand the attractiveness of pushing that story because of the current social landscape, the social currency that brings. It is not the truth."

Don't Worry Darling is due in UK cinemas on 23 September after a world premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

Watch: Timeline of the Don't Worry Darling casting dispute