The 2019 film was directed by Alma Har’el with a screenplay by LaBeouf that was based on his experiences of early fame and relationship with his father, whom he played in the movie.
Noah Jupe and Lucas Hedges played younger versions of LaBeouf, who is named Otis in the film.
LaBeouf wrote the script in 2017, during a stint of court-ordered rehab. The movie depicted his father as manic and aggressive, as well as abusive towards his son.
During an episode of Jon Bernthal’s Real Ones podcast, the actor admitted to taking creative liberties with the film, which was previously thought to be autobiographical.
LaBeouf, 36, said the depiction of his father as abusive was “f***ing nonsense”.
“Here’s a man who I’ve done vilified on a grand scale,” said LaBeouf, who recently said that he is over 600 days sober after seeking treatment in 2020, following allegations of abuse from his ex-partner and Honey Boy co-star FKA Twigs.
LaBeouf has denied causing Twigs “any injury or loss”, saying that she was not “entitled to any relief or damages whatsoever”. The trial date for twigs’s case against LaBeouf has been set for 17 April 2023.
“I wrote this narrative, which was just f***ing nonsense,” he said.
“My dad was so loving to me my whole life. Fractured, sure. Crooked, sure. Wonky, for sure. But never was not loving, never was not there. He was always there… and I’d done a world press tour about how f***ed he was as a man."
LaBeouf called Honey Boy a “big ‘woe is me’ story about how f***ed my father is, and I wronged him”.
“I remember getting on the phone with him, and him being like, ‘I never read this stuff in the script you sent.’ Because I didn’t put that s*** in there,” he said, adding that he was “bulls***ing” his dad to get his permission to make the film.
“I turned the knob up on certain s*** that wasn’t real,” said LaBeouf. “My dad never hit me, never. He spanked me once, one time [when he caught his son smoking as a child]. And the story that gets painted in Honey Boy is this dude is abusing his kid all the time.”
The Transformers star explained that the realities of his childhood “didn’t position me as this wounded, fractured child that you could root for, which is what I was using [my dad] for”.
“So, when I got on the phone with him, I took accountability for all of that and knew very clearly that I couldn’t take it back, and my dad was gonna live with this certain narrative about him on a public scale for a very long time, probably the rest of his life,” he said.
Last week, LaBeouf denied claims from Olivia Wilde that he was fired from her film Don’t Worry Darling.
Wilde, who directs and co-stars in the forthcoming psychological thriller, claimed to Variety that she fired the actor in order to create a “safe, trusting environment” on set and claimed that his acting process “was not conducive to the ethos” that she demands in her productions.
However, LaBeouf has now denied this and sent screenshots of his email and text exchanges with Wilde to the publication, saying that he left of his own accord as he “couldn’t find time to rehearse” with the other actors.
A video of Wilde trying to convince LaBeouf to stay attached to the project has also since emerged.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, you can call the 24-hour National Domestic Abuse Helpline, run by Refuge, on 0808 2000 247, or visit their website here.