Shia LaBeouf on Writing the "Dark Chapters" of 'Honey Boy' While in Court-Ordered Rehab

Shia LaBeouf Honey Boy - Getty - H 2019
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With his film Honey Boy currently in theaters, Shia LaBeouf appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Wednesday, where he chatted with the host about making the intense autobiographical film. 

Directed by Israeli filmmaker Alma Har'el and written by LaBeouf, the story follows the actor's childhood and early adulthood, dissecting his family relationships and the impact they had on his mental health. LaBeouf plays a version of his father, a clown who dealt with issues of drug addiction throughout his life.

At the top of the show, Kimmel called the film a "fantastic movie." He went on to ask, "You like it I assume?" The actor nodded and said in response, "It turned out better than I hoped it would." He went on to say that he wrote the screenplay while in court-ordered rehab and referred to elements of the script as "dark chapters" that he worked on while dealing with symptoms of PTSD.

A lighter moment in the show came when LaBeouf said that he still keeps in touch with the police officer who arrested him. "He invited me to go fishing," said the actor.

The late-night host later asked LaBeouf if it was true that he was thinking of joining the Peace Corps at one stage in his life. He shared that, yes, he had signed up when he thought that "the actor thing was over." But once he got into a rehab facility and started working through his issues, his plans changed. "We had a little conversation about it," LaBeouf said, "and they were very peaceful."

Touching on the film once more, Kimmel said that he found it "moving and troubling," noting that few people really know how difficult LaBeouf's childhood was. He asked the actor what his father thought of LaBeouf playing him, and the actor said that he originally told his dad that Mel Gibson was playing the role. "I finally broke the news to him," said the actor. 

"How did he take it when he saw the movie?" asked Kimmel. LaBeouf said that he actually watched his father watch Honey Boy via a webcam, and he was able to witness his father getting emotional. Kimmel agreed on the emotional pull of the movie, noting that it made him examine things in his own life as a father.

When asked whether he is reading reviews and coverage of the movie, LaBeouf mentioned how unusual the situation is, because "it's not a review of a movie, it's a review of my father." As heavy as that sounds, his father is reading everything to do with the film.

LaBeouf compared him to a peacock, always enjoying "the big moments."