Belfast Telegraph

Lucas Hedges shares how he bonded with Shia LaBeouf before playing him

The actor plays a version of the troubled star in Honey Boy.

Lucas Hedges says he only cries in films (Ian West/PA)
Lucas Hedges says he only cries in films (Ian West/PA)

By Laura Harding, PA Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Lucas Hedges has said he has realised he does not cry in real life anymore, only on film, and it has made him question his own reality.

The actor, 22, who was nominated for an Oscar for his turn in Manchester-By-The Sea, plays a version of Shia LaBeouf in his semi-autobiographical film Honey Boy.

LaBeouf also stars in the film as his own father, while Noah Jupe plays a younger version of Hedges’ character, and it follows a child star trying to reconcile with his parent on a path to redemption after a turbulent childhood.

Hedges told the PA news agency: “I don’t see it as a cautionary tale, I see it as a story about a father and a son and this boy’s inability to escape his dad.

“But what I do see as a common thread for me and other actors is that actors lose our sense of reality when our lives become this movie-to-movie-to-movie-to-movie, me and Shia talked about this.”

He added: “What that was leading to is that neither of us really cry in our own lives anymore, we cry in movies.

“It’s a really weird thing and it makes you wonder what is more real and is my life real? Have I divorced myself from the realities of life?

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The film’s director Alma Har’el with Noah Jupe, Lucas Hedges and Shia LaBeouf (Ian West/PA)

“I think that is when it really starts to get trippy, when what you live for more so are the stories you tell than through your own.”

LaBeouf wrote the screenplay for the film while in court-ordered rehab and Hedges said he already felt close to the material before he read it because LaBeouf’s troubles were so highly publicised.

He said: “My character’s story happened a few years ago so I had a relationship with some of it myself, through witnessing it on social media.

“The realness of it made it really easy to be inspired.

“I think it was one of the reasons I was drawn to the project was just Shia has meant so much to me in so many different ways over the years, I’ve been heartbroken for him, I’ve been jealous of him, I’ve been inspired by him and all since I was 10.

“It felt so close to home already before I even got the script.”

Honey Boy is release in UK cinemas on December 6.

PA

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