VIDEO EXCLUSIVE: Noah Jupe On Playing Shia LaBeouf In ‘Honey Boy:’ ‘I Didn’t Know Who He Was!’
Noah Jupe had no idea who Shia LaBeouf was before playing him in the new drama movie Honey Boy.
“I thought he had a cool name but I’d never really seen him in anything,” said the 14-year-old English actor — who is known for his roles in the films Ford vs. Ferrari, Wonder and A Quiet Place — of LaBeouf. “I never really followed his work or linked up two movies [where] he was the same actor.”
The film, which LaBeouf wrote, is loosely based on his experiences growing up as a famous young television actor — including his struggles with alcoholism — and his relationship with his abusive, alcoholic father. The film takes place over a decade and centers on a boy named Otis Lort, a fictionalized version of the former Even Stevens star. LaBoeuf reportedly starting writing the film’s script during his stint in rehab.
Jupe, who plays 12-year-old Otis in Honey Boy, explained to uInterview exclusively how he began following LaBeouf’s work after he finally got to know the former Disney Channel actor, whom Jupe praised for his prowess on screen.
“Since I’ve done this movie I’ve followed his career and he honestly is one of my favorite actors and would be even if I didn’t know him,” said Jupe of LaBeouf, who plays a fictionalized version of his father named James Lort in Honey Boy.
Jupe said he first met LaBeouf while auditioning in Los Angeles and revealed that the actor offered to practice some lines with him and offered him his hat.
“That moment was kind of the beginning of our relationship and our trust,” said Jupe. “I felt same with him from then on.”
“I love him as a person and as a fellow actor,” he added of LaBeouf.
Jupe went on to rave about LaBeouf’s approach and vision as the film’s screenwriter, saying he strived to pour as much emotional resonance into it as possible.
“He’s really generous and emotional,” said Jupe of LaBeouf. “He’s definitely a truth-seeker.”
“Shia has a very forward energy,” he added.
The young English actor also said he enjoyed his first-ever opportunity to improvise while working on Honey Boy. Jupe revealed LaBoeuf gave him and Oscar nominee Lucas Hedges — who plays an older version of Otis — the freedom to use their “interpretation” of the character loosely based on the Disney Channel star.
Honey Boy — which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival — is directed by Alma Har’el and also stars FKA Twigs, Maika Monroe and Natasha Lyonne. It is now playing in theaters.