“I didn’t get close to Lucas until after the shoot. He got close as f— to me,” LaBeouf tells EW. The actor, who wrote the semi-autobiographical film, says Hedges, 22, would already be in his house by the time he woke up. “I would leave and go do s— and he’d be on my couch when I got home. At a certain point I just gave him my keys and he would come over here and start putting my clothes on. Laying in my bed, taking showers in mine, fully involved, going to my mother’s house, you know. All that.”
LaBeouf, who briefly stars opposite Hedges as a version of his own father, says he questioned why the Manchester by the Sea and Lady Bird breakout wanted to be a part of the small film, telling him, “I don’t really understand why you’re making this. You’re a f—ing Academy Award nominee. You could be doing anything else, why would you subject yourself to this f—ing madness?”
The actor and debut screenwriter admits that he found working with Hedges intimidating, noting how the young star has “no Ls on his record in any way shape or form both professionally and personally.” The envy he had for Hedges helped him get into character though.
“I had a whole lot of jealousy about that, which serves the role because that’s what my father had. My dad being a rodeo clown who wanted to be an actor who’s looking at this younger kid thinking like, ‘You haven’t f—ed it up yet,’” LaBeouf explains. “I didn’t have to conjure that. I felt that deeply, and he leaned into that with me.”
LaBeouf still describes his reverent costar, and self-professed Even Stevens fan, as “the best actor I’ve ever been opposite … Lucas is heads and tails above everybody I’ve ever seen across from me, so very intimidating.” High praise from someone who’s starred opposite Harrison Ford and Robert Redford.
Honey Boy hit theaters for a limited release starting Nov. 8.