Shia Labeouf’s transition from child star to adult has not been smooth. Since his days as Sam Witwicky in Transformers, he has undergone conflicts with costars like Tom Hardy, been arrested, and been subjected to a troll experiment by 4chan.
Recently though, the actor has been working on maturing as a performer as well as a person. And one of these efforts is an attempt to exorcise his parental demons in the new film Honey Boy.
The film, which is written by Labeouf, is an exploration of the relationship between him and his father Jeffrey Craig Labeouf during his rise to stardom. The movie also has Shia playing the role of his troubled dad.
But who is Jeffrey Craig Labeouf and why did Shia decide to make a film about him? Here is everything to know about Shia Labeouf’s father.
Who is Jeffrey Craig Labeouf, Shia LaBeouf’s father?
The story of Shia and Jeffrey Labeouf’s relationship extends over 3 decades but here is the rundown of what is known.
Around the time Shia got his huge break on the Disney show Even Stevens, he and his father were living out of a $40 a day hotel close to the shoot. To make matters more complicated, his father had just left rehab from battling alcohol and heroin. And his troubles only persisted after Shia scored the role.
According to numerous reports, his father Jeffrey was actually accused of assaulting an unknown female actress from the show in 2000. Even more troubling, the actor’s father threatened a Disney executive for hugging Shia because the exec was openly gay.
Sadly, this was not the first time his father dealt with assault and sexual harassment charges. In the early ’80s, he did time after being convicted of rape of a minor. So on top of being an addict, he was also a sex offender and a guardian to a child star. Honestly, it’s amazing Shia is not more troubled than he is, having this knowledge.
Adding to Jeffrey Labeouf’s already troubled circumstances, he also served three tours in Vietnam, which would later cause him to have PTSD. And according to Shia, some of this lead to abuse, such as his father holding a gun against its head during a flashback.
More recently, Jeffrey’s whereabouts are uncertain with the last reported sighting being in Costa Rica. Allegedly, he fled the country after violating his requirements as a well-known sex offender. And as of right now, no one knows where Jeffrey Labeouf is living.
Shia Labeouf on his father Jeffrey Craig Labeouf
In a recent celebrity profile interview with Esquire, Shia LaBeouf seems to hold no resentment towards his dad, even crediting him for making him the actor he has become. In fact, he says that his dad was well aware that his presence would rile Shia up so he would purposely antagonize Shia off-camera to motivate him.
“That dude is my gasoline. I could work myself up into a frenzy. He’s the whole reason I became an actor,” Shia told Esquire.
Shia further describes their relationship as making him have more depth as a performer and seems grateful despite the abuse he endured.
“My dad handed me a lot, and his legacy was an emotional one. And it wasn’t scarring. He handed me texture. My dad blessed me that way.”
Shia says that the name Honey Boy was a nickname provided by his father during his time on Even Stevens. One can only imagine from the trailer that this is because Shia was his main source of income at the time. From the footage, it seems that Jeffrey Labeouf struggled with the fact he was being supported by his son–instead of vice versa.
Shia Labeouf may have a troubled history with his father but it seems he is confronting the trauma in a healthy way. It’s rare to see a performer portray the person who abused them all their life. Needless to say, it should make for a riveting film.
Honey Boy will hit theaters on November 8, 2019.