Shia Labeouf Lied To His Dad About Mel Gibson Playing Him in ‘Honey Boy’

Shia LaBeouf independent film Honey boy Audiences have been warmly welcomed since its release in 2019. With LaBeouf as his father, he explores LaBeouf’s turbulent relationship with his father in the early years of his life.

And while the film is a strong show from LaBeouf, it was hard to do. In fact, LaBeouf had to trick his father into allowing him to use his looks by telling him that Mel Gibson was signed to play.

Shia LaBeouf’s personal life inspired him to create ‘Honey Boy’

Shia LaBeouf
Shia LaBeouf will be attending the 2020 Film Independent Spirit Awards | Axelle / Bauer-Griffin / FilmMagic

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Before LaBeouf decided he wanted to create Honey boy, he dealt with a number of things in his personal life. As a result of several arrests and disorderly conduct in previous years, LaBeouf’s name had been in the headlines many times.

LaBeouf appeared in a recent interview with Hollywood Reporter that is before he promised a result Honey boy, he was working through an undiagnosed mental illness. For LaBeouf, Honey boy it evolved from a passion project into a tool for survival.

“My back was against the wall, I was nuclear at this point, so it wasn’t like a dream project,” LaBeouf said. “It felt like he was alive. Like there was no other way to go. Not many people talked to me. I was in a mental institution. So it wasn’t like ‘Oh, this is my dream project, I want to explore this,’ it was like ‘My back against the wall. This is my favorite craft and I can’t do it now.

LaBeouf lied and told his father that Mel Gibson was playing him in ‘Honey Boy’

When it came time for LaBeouf to start pre-production, he had to decide who was best for his father’s career. Initially, he wanted Mel Gibson to play the role, but decided it would be better if he handled the role himself.

According to LaBeouf, he needed his father’s permission to use his appearance in the film. To do so, LaBeouf lied to him, telling his father that Mel Gibson would play him in the feature.

“Yeah, he sent it to Mel Gibson,” LaBeouf said. “I thought he was the man who played my father. And my father was thinking the same way. It’s one thing you want your father to play, it’s another thing to stand in front of your father after seven years without talking and going ‘ Hey man, I’m going to play you, ’cause there’s already a controversy. And we weren’t on good contracts so I lied to him and said to him ‘Hey, Mel Gibson is going to play you, sign here. And my dad loves Mel Gibson. So my dad signed the paper under cover that it was going to be played by Braveheart, you know, so… ”

LaBeouf and his father were not close at the time

To the average person, it may seem strange that LaBeouf had to use such unusual measures to get permission from his father. But in the same interview, LaBeouf revealed that he and his father had not had a healthy relationship for a long time.

“I hadn’t talked to my dad for seven years before I started this, so I didn’t really know my dad,” LaBeouf said.

Once LaBeouf immersed himself in development Honey boy, his relationship with his father changed. When asked if the project changed the way he thought about his father, he confirmed and commented that the film completely improved his life.

“Yeah, and I improved my craft and built a relationship, yeah.”

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