‘It was like lighting yourself on fire’: how Shia Labeouf’s co-star changed his life

When the troubled actor made a film with Zack Gottsagen, who has Down’s syndrome, his drunken arrest nearly wrecked the project.

The pair talk about rehab, redemption – and wrestlingWhere do you start with Shia Labeouf? The former child star and teenage action hero, latter-day performance artist and Hollywood outcast vapes as a tune plays on his phone.

The song is Our House by 1970s supergroup Crosby, Stills and Nash.

He dances.

“What do you want to listen to?” he asks the other actor in the room, Zack Gottsagen.

“Pick a song.” Gottsagen, who has Down’s syndrome, shrugs and looks across at me.

“He’s from the Guardian,” Labeouf says in a tone that might be called sceptical.

He switches off the music.

“All right,” he says.

“Let’s talk our shit.”Ahead of this interview, I watch YouTube footage of Labeouf’s 2017 arrest for public drunkenness in Savannah,

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