News and Commentary

Shia LaBeouf Thanks Police Officer Who Arrested Him ‘For Changing My Life’
BEVERLY HILLS, CALIFORNIA - NOVEMBER 03: Shia LaBeouf attends the 23rd Annual Hollywood Film Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on November 03, 2019 in Beverly Hills, California.
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With the upcoming release of “Honey Boy,” actor Shia LaBeouf has been making a serious effort to publicly exorcise himself of the demons that have so plagued him in recent years. Now, two years after his infamous arrest for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct, he has publicly thanked the officer from that fateful night for being the spark that helped turn his life around for the better.

“I want to thank the police officer who arrested me in Georgia, for changing my life,” LaBeouf said at the Hollywood Film Awards on Sunday night, as reported by Fox News.

In July 2017, while Shia was filming “Peanut Butter Falcon,” an officer with Savannah PD arrested the actor for public drunkenness and disorderly conduct after he launched into a profanity-laced tirade at someone for not giving him a cigarette. Fox News has more:

Investigators said the former child actor became disorderly, “using profanities and vulgar language in front of the women and children present.” When he was told to leave, police alleged he refused and became aggressive toward an officer, then ran to a nearby hotel to avoid arrest.

LaBeouf pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of obstruction, was ordered to pay $2,680 in fines and fees, perform 100 hours of community service, enroll in anger management counseling and complete a drug and alcohol evaluation.

Indeed, the arrest appears to have helped turn Shia’s life around; during rehab, he wrote the script for “Honey Boy,” a semi-autobiographical piece inspired by his life as a child star in which he plays his own alcoholic and abusive father. Critics have since been hailing “Honey Boy” as a masterpiece with a 97% on Rotten Tomatoes.

“The director Alma Har’el does play with time and reality throughout but there remains a genuine heart to LaBeouf’s script, the clear-eyed work of a man at pains trying to figure out how delving into his past might help fix his present,” wrote Benjamin Lee of The Guardian.

“In many ways [it] resembles other films about chaotic childhoods, alcoholism, and abuse. It distinguishes itself in the manner it weaves the concerns of an actor into that trauma,” said  Emily Yoshida of New York Magazine.

Actor Robert Downey Jr., who presented LaBeouf the award for breakout screenwriting over the weekend, hailed the movie as “damn near perfect” and “easily the best and bravest film I have seen in years.”

Aside from the police officer, LaBeouf recently thanked his co-star in “Peanut Butter Falcon,” Zack Gottsagen, an actor with Down syndrome, for contributing to his recovery.

“I had never worked with an actor like him,” said LaBeouf, as reported by Live Action. “I’d never been involved in a project like this. It felt like it was going to be a really freeing experience, and to be quite frank, I was terrified. I knew that he’d be playing lead guitar, you know, and I’d be playing bass to him. If he went left, I’d have to go left. I’d never been in a situation where so much is dependent on staying open, and reacting, and listening to another performer. I’ve been quite selfish in my choices and my way of working before.”

“The kid in me died and I just got over all this,” he continued. “This roller coaster wasn’t fun after a while. You ride the same roller coaster, it just loses its appeal. Then you go on it with someone who hasn’t been on it before, and somehow, it sparks back up.”