‘Honey Boy’: How Shia Labeouf’s Past and Present Found a New Shape in the Editing Room

Much has been made about the therapy-meets-art process of “Honey Boy,” which actor Shia Labeouf wrote while exploring his traumatic childhood in court-mandated therapy and rehab.

The writer-actor even went so far as to play his father in the film’s flashbacks.

Yet what’s fascinating about the making of “Honey Boy” is how those filmic connections made between Labeouf’s past and present evolved over the course of making the film.When “Honey Boy” opens, we meet present-day Otis on the “Transformers” set, his emotions spiraling out of control as he hits rock bottom.

Mirroring Labeouf’s own experiences, Otis is arrested and ends up in rehab.

The film then weaves between present day Otis, doing the hard work of therapy and healing, with flashbacks of the past he is trying to reconcile — specifically a time when 12 year-old-Otis (Noah Jupe) was living with his abusive and alcoholic father (Labeouf).Labeouf’s script was linear,

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