Shia LaBeouf Admits He Made Up Abuse By His Father For A Movie

Ashley Hunte
A red curtain closed on a stage.
Unsplash | Rob Laughter

Former child star Shia LaBeouf is no stranger to controversy. Coming into prominence with his leading role on the Disney Channel comedy, Even Stevens, the actor has spent the past two decades in the public eye, for better or worse.

Recently, the star has admitted that Honey Boy, a film based on LaBeouf's life, featured abuse sequences that were largely made up.

Shia LaBeouf has had a number of public troubles in the past.

A selfie of Shia LaBeouf in a camo hat
twitter | @thecampaignbook

Over the years, LaBeouf has dealt with alcoholism, as well as a number of arrests and charges for crimes such as theft and violent behavior.

During his time in rehab, LaBeouf wrote the screenplay for 'Honey Boy.'

Writing the screenplay as part of a rehabilitation program, LaBeouf later turned it into a feature film, which was filmed over the span of a few weeks in 2018.

LaBeouf starred in it as his own father.

James telling Otis, "I pump you full of strength."
Giphy | Amazon Studios

Releasing in 2019, Honey Boy follows a narrative that, until now, was assumed to closely relate back to LaBeouf's childhood stardom, with the actor himself playing a stand-in for his father.

While audiences were left to assume that this film paralleled real life, LaBeouf has recently admitted that this is false.

Recently appearing on Real Ones with Jon Bernthal, LaBeouf discussed his real-life upbringing, admitting that none of the abuse that took place in the film actually happened.

The movie centers around the relationship between father and son.

A father walking down the street with his young son.
Unsplash | Ben White

LaBeouf played the father of Otis, who was played by Noah Jupe. It dealt with the toxic and abusive relationship the two shared, and was acclaimed for doing so in a meaningful way.

He explained that the narrative was "just [expletive] nonsense."

One of the characters of Honey Boy congratulating actors on a "good take."
Giphy | Amazon Studios

"My dad was so loving to me my whole life," he said. "Fractured, 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 [expletive] he was as a man."

He later went on to talk about how his relationship with his father was much more positive than the film portrayal.

Otis walking through a film set with a walkman.
Giphy | Amazon Studios

He continued, "My dad never hit me, never. He spanked me once, one time. And the story that gets painted in Honey Boy is, this dude is abusing his kid all the time."

Since its release, 'Honey Boy' has been acclaimed critically.

Otis and James riding on a motorcycle.
Giphy | Amazon Studios

Both critics and audiences loved the film, with many believing the on-screen portrayals were likely therapeutic in a way for LaBeouf, who could come to terms with the way his childhood progressed.

But this new admission definitely changes the narrative.

Otis being hit in the face with a pie.
Giphy | Amazon Studios

A huge reason why audiences loved Honey Boy was, in fact, that assumption that the story closely followed LaBeouf's real life. But knowing that this is false definitely changes things.

Of course, this isn't the only troubling fact to come out of the film.

The film also featured FKA Twigs, who dated LaBeouf shortly after they met on set. After the two broke up, FKA Twigs filed a lawsuit against LaBeouf, claiming he was abusive toward her during their relationship.