The new movie Honey Boy, a semi-autobiographical film written by Shia LaBeouf, definitely goes there. That's clear from the trailer for Shia LaBeouf's Honey Boy, which dropped on Thursday, Aug 8. In it, fans get a closer look at what it was like for the young LaBeouf to grow up in the business, looking at the highs and lows and everything in between. For those that already know a bit of LaBeouf's story, stardom hasn't been easy for him. But this movie also delves into LaBeouf's struggles to reconcile with his father and deal with his mental health.
The trailer begins in 2005 with Lucas Hedges, LaBeouf's stand-in, here named Otis Lort, shouting "wait, wait!" before getting blown back as part of a movie set. It's clear from the teaser that LaBeouf's past movies like Holes and Transformers play a role in this film. (Not to mention his time on Disney's Even Stevens.) It's a trip down memory lane for his fans that takes them behind the scenes and behind the tabloid headlines. In one moment in the trailer, Otis (Hedges) is seen getting arrested following a car flip that in real life, left LaBeouf's left hand permanently damaged.
As the press release for Honey Boy obtained by Bustle noted, LaBeouf took on "the therapeutic challenge of playing a version of his own father, an ex-rodeo clown and a felon." In the trailer, he's seen asking a young Otis (A Quiet Place's Noah Jupe) how he thinks it feels to have his son paying him. "You wouldn't be here if I didn't pay you," Otis says.
With help from director Alma Har'el, LaBeouf wanted this movie to explore "art as medicine and imagination as hope through the life and times of a talented, traumatized performer who dares to go in search of himself."
Throughout the trailer, Otis' real life feels stranger than fiction. Most notably, the moment in which he's handcuffed in the back of a cop car yelling at the officers, "You don't know how good I am at what I do." Slurring his words throughout the monologue.
In real life, LaBeouf had a string of arrests from in the mid-2000s, including a 2007 misdemeanor trespassing for an incident in a Walgreens parking lot, according to E! News. In 2008, LaBeouf talked about that night in the parking lot with Empire Magazine, per E! News. "I can't diminish what happened at all. But I can say this: I'm not the first 21-year-old to be arrested for a misdemeanor," he told the magazine. "There are lessons in life I need to learn, and I'm learning all of them in front of the public."
With this movie, in theaters Nov. 8, LaBeouf is once again learning in front of the public. It's possible that his fans will be able to learn from this film, too. But that's not his intention with Honey Boy.
“It’s strange to fetishize your pain and make a product out of it,” LaBeouf said at Sundance earlier this year, according to Variety. “And you feel guilty about that. It felt very selfish. This whole thing felt very selfish. I never went into this thinking, ‘Oh let me f*cking help people.’ That wasn’t my goal. I was falling apart.”
Let's hope Honey Boy helps him pick up the pieces.