What Shia LaBeouf Taught Me About Empathy and Forgiveness
January 12, 2020 9:44 PM   Subscribe

From the moment I learned that “Honey Boy” explored a complex father-child relationship — how pain and abuse can transcend generations — I knew that interviewing Shia LaBeouf, one of Variety’s 10 Screenwriters to Watch, would be an emotional experience for me. I just never expected for it to change me. [Variety, medium read, cw: abuse]

This hopeful and introspective article is way more about the author than it is about Shia, but it's also about Shia and the journey he's made.
posted by hippybear (5 comments total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
I can't handle reading about abuse right now so I have not read the link. I do want to say however that after watching Shia on, of all things, Hot Ones, I walked away with a very different impression of him as a person than what I had constructed in my head. He seems like a very thoughtful person these days. I don't know much else about him.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:06 AM on January 13 [6 favorites]

I've been keeping my eye on Shia since his child-actor days. Even when he was a kid there was something that let you know that "dang, this kid's good". But then he went through the bumpy-transition thing and I got the sense that something had been going down all along, and I was hoping he would get to a better place someday, even if that took him away from acting.

Writing a film in which he played his own father as a cathartic exercise is not something I saw coming, I'll admit, but I've also seen a recent interview where he and Kristin Stewart talk shop and it's clear that he's in a better place (albeit still with some demons he's wrestling with, but starting to build his way somewhere better).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:12 AM on January 13 [1 favorite]

Oh, and if the only impression you have of Shia is of the performance art and Even Stevens and Transformers and that kind of stuff, track down the film A Guide To Recognizing Your Saints. He and Robert Downey Jr. take on the same character; RDJ plays the character in the present and Shia plays him in the past.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:15 AM on January 13 [4 favorites]

Pretty mad at myself for missing Honey Boy when it was in theaters. Hoping it'll make it to streaming soon. Thanks for this link and reminding me that this movie needs to be on my must see list.
posted by WalkerWestridge at 8:38 AM on January 13

I really do wish the culture could get past hating on child stars for messing up. Yeah, I get it. They're rich and famous before they've cleared puberty -- how dare they blow a situation like that? Except for very many of them, it's an impossible situation. Because what kind of parent lets their kid get near a place like that? Probably the kind of parent that needs it way more than the kid could ever imagine needing it. It's failure by design, mental illness writ large, the Society of the Spectacle at its cannibalistic worst.

Anyway, hope Honey Boy helps a few people, including Mr. LaBoeuf. Sounds like it's pretty necessary.
posted by philip-random at 9:19 AM on January 13 [2 favorites]

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