even stevens by Conrad Hoyt August 13, 2019
“I’m you’re cheerleader, Honey Boy,” Shia LaBeouf tells his son.
Honey Boy is a film based on LaBeouf’s childhood, where his dad pushed him as a young actor, sometimes too far. Here LaBeouf plays his real-life father, a Vietnam War-veteran and heroin-addict.
While LaBeouf has described his childhood as like being raised by hippies and has noted the instability that surrounded it, he always knew his parents loved him, and he’s always loved them too.
This film looks like it will be a cathartic experience, a relationship between parent and child, father and son. Relationships are never one-dimensional, and in the trailer, we can see LaBeouf be too hard on his son, while also show sincere love and pride in him.
Us millennials, of course, remember LaBeouf for helping paint our childhood memories. There he was in Even Stevens, in Holes, in Disturbia, in Transformers. LaBeouf, like Amanda Bynes, Miley Cyrus, and many others, was a big part of our childhoods, and a lot of us love him for it.
But like Bynes, LaBeouf has had his problems in his adult life. Child-acting has ruined more people than we will ever know; reaching such success at that age and having your parents look at you as more than just a child is a sad and frightening reality.
“How do you think it feels to have my son paying me?” LaBeouf asks his boy in the trailer. “How do you think that feels?”
“You wouldn’t be here if I didn’t pay you,” his son responds.
In addition to acting as his father in the film, LaBeouf wrote the script. In fact, “Honey Boy” was his childhood nickname.
Honey Boy premiered on January 25, 2019, at the Sundance Film Festival and is scheduled to be released on November 8, 2019. The film is directed by Alma Har’el, and also stars Noah Jupe and Lucas Hedges.
Not too long ago, LaBeouf was in rehab trying to reconcile with his father and his own mental health problems. When asked what it was like writing the script, LaBeouf said, “It is strange to fetishize your pain and make a product out of it and feel guilty about that. It felt very selfish. This whole thing felt very selfish.”
“I never went into this thinking, ‘Oh, I am going to fucking help people.’ That wasn’t my goal. I was falling apart.”
As deep a trailer as is the source material, Honey Boy looks like it is going to be a whirlwind of emotions. And if it is a cathartic experience and beautiful spectacle for us, just imagine how it will be for LaBeouf.
LaBeouf is a very talented and complicated person. Honey Boy will give us some insight into why the boy we have loved, and the man we now appreciate, is the way he is.