5 Facts About Shia LaBeouf’s Honey Boy Depiction Of His True Story

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Childhood is supposed to be the happiest and most carefree period of a person’s life but unfortunately, not everyone is able to fully enjoy it as it should be because some become victims of abuse in various forms. No form of abuse is good but growing up with an abusive parent can be really terrible as the person who is supposed to love you the most in the world becomes a source of fear and affliction. Shia LaBeouf had such tough upbringing with his own father as his source of affliction. As an individual develops into adulthood, his/her responsibilities increases and this is hard enough on its own without the added baggage of a traumatizing childhood. For those who had such childhood, speaking up is always a great step on the journey to healing and Shia LaBeouf took this step up a notch by writing a movie depicting his own life story. We bring you five facts about Honey Boy in this article, enjoy.

5 Facts About Honey Boy Shia LaBeouf’s Depiction Of His Life’s Story

1. Shia LaBeouf Wrote And Starred In Honey Boy

The Los Angeles born filmmaker wrote the script of the movie, Honey Boy, based on his autobiography and decided to title it after his childhood nickname given to him by the same man who abused him. Naturally, one would expect him to star in the movie as himself because who can bring a character to life better than the person who experienced it first hand? But LaBeouf decided instead to play the character of his father probably for the same reason stated above.

According to him, the film, which he wrote immediately after his court-mandated rehabilitation program ended in 2017, was more of a step towards recovery for him than anything else.

2. Short Background On Honey Boy

The film portrays the relationship between an abusive alcoholic war veteran, James Lort (Shia LaBeouf), who is also an ex-convict and his son, Otis (Noah Jupe), a twelve-year-old budding actor. James also doubles as his son’s manager when he is not busy drinking alcohol or being an abusive father. Otis grows up (now played by Lucas Hedges) to become a disturbed adult in rehab, struggling with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and trying to get over the damage caused by his father’s physical and emotional abuse.

3. Who Is In The Movie?

The film stars the aforementioned actors as the key characters, LaBeouf as his Father, given the name James Lort in the film, Noah Jupe from A Quiet Place as his younger self (young Otis) and Lucas Hedges as adult Otis. The other actors featured in the film are Natasha Lyonne, Laura San Giacomo, Maika Monroe, Martin Starr, FKA Twigs, Clifton Collins Jr. and Byron Bowers.

Hedges and Jupe were announced to have joined the cast in March and April 2018 respectively but the rest of the cast did not get on board until the following month. The film was produced by Christopher Leggett, Brian Kavanaugh-Jones, and Daniela Taplin Lundberg.

Even though LaBeouf could have taken the director’s seat, he had his friend, Alma Har’el – with whom he shared the story as a jest – take the reins instead and she did a good job.

4. Filming, Release, And Reception

The filming of the movie started in May 2018 and it premiered on January 25, 2019, at the Sundance Film Festival, Park City. In addition to the standing ovation the film received from the audience that filled Eccles theatre to the brim, it has also received positive and encouraging reviews. 

53 users rate it 96% on Rotten Tomatoes and both the reviewers’ consensus and an A. V. Club Newspaper film critic, A. A. Dowd, described the movie as a fascinating cinematic therapy, one that would strike a chord in audiences from every background.

Honey Boy will be widely distributed by Amazon Studios come November 8, 2019.

5. Shia LaBeouf Feels Guilty

The actor when asked how he feels about his film and how it has impacted his recovery said he feels guilty and selfish about making a product out of his pain and his goal was not to make people feel better but he only did it to help himself because he was falling apart.


The movie seems to have struck the chord of a particular viewer though, because LaBeouf said after the film’s debut that he and his father are now talking, after seven years of not speaking to each other.

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