Shia LaBeouf Admits The Abusive Stuff About His Dad In Honey Boy Was Made Up

Actor Shia LaBeouf grew up in front of the public eye, starting with his role on Disney’s Even Stevens. Over the decades he established himself as a serious actor and filmmaker, while also having some public struggles and legal issues. And recently LaBeouf admitted the abusive stuff about his father in the movie Honey Boy was made up.

Honey Boy was released back in 2019, and was seemingly based around Shia LaBeouf’s real-life experience as a child star in the early 2000’s. In addition to writing the screenplay, he also played his father in the drama. But during a recent appearance on Real Ones with Jon Bernthal, LaBeouf got honest about his work on that movie, including that some of the abusive sequences were totally fictional. As he explained, 

I wrote this narrative, which was just fucking nonsense. My dad was so loving to me my whole life. 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 fucked he was as a man.

Talk about a shocking turn of events. Indeed, Honey Boy was a movie that was centered around young protagonist Otis (Noah Jupe) and the toxic relationship he had with his father James (LaBeouf) while dealing with the pressure of leading a TV show. And despite what Shia LaBeouf might have said during press for the movie, it turns out that his father was seemingly never abusive IRL.

Part of what made Honey Boy such a powerful viewing experience was because of how much Shia LaBeouf put himself into the project. On top of writing the screenplay, embodying one’s father seemed like an exercise in both therapy and acting. His girlfriend at the time FKA Twigs also had a role. But it turns out that what we saw on screen wasn’t necessarily accurate to what happened at the time LaBeouf was a Disney star.

Later in his same conversation with Jon Bernthal, Shia LaBeouf further explained what his relationship with his father was like, including during his years working on Even Stevens. Rather than it being tense and abusive, that seemingly wasn’t the case. As the Transformers alum explained,

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.

This revelation is sure to change how audiences watch Honey Boy moving forward. Upon its release, the drama was a hit with critics and audiences alike. In fact, it sits certified fresh with a 95% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. But clearly Shia LaBeouf is looking inward, and getting honest with the public about his work on that film. 

Honey Boy is currently streaming on Amazon. In the meantime, check out the 2022 movie release dates to plan your next movie experience. 

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Graduated with degrees theater and literature from Ramapo College of New Jersey. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid. He's particularly proud of covering horror franchises like Scream and Halloween, as well as movie musicals like West Side Story. Favorite interviews include Steven Spielberg, Spike Lee, Jamie Lee Curtis, and more.