Shia LaBeouf has learned to take the bitter with the sweet.
The 33-year-old actor — who made headlines for a series of questionable public disturbances over the last few years — showed some respect for authority Sunday at the Hollywood Film Awards.
While accepting his “breakthrough screenwriter” award for “Honey Boy,” LaBeouf shouted out the police officer who arrested him in July 2017 for public drunkenness. He was busted during location shoots for “The Peanut Butter Falcon” in Savannah, Ga, — and video released at the time showed him screaming and cursing at officers.
“I want to thank the police officer who arrested me in Georgia — for changing my life,” the actor said, eliciting laughter from the industry crowd.
But LaBeouf’s mom, Shayna Saide, wasn’t laughing. She looked on in tears as her son thanked his “therapist and my sponsor for saving my life [and] my parents for giving my life.”
The actor-writer reportedly used his time during his court-ordered rehab to write the semi-autobiographical script for “Honey Boy,” which earned much acclaim at the Toronto Film Festival and hits screens Friday.
Former Hollywood rebel Robert Downey Jr. — who survived his own high-profile brushes with the law back in the day — presented the award to LaBeouf, declaring the screenplay “damn near perfect. [It’s] easily the best and bravest film I have seen in years.”
LaBeouf previously addressed his arrest in a 2018 Esquire profile.
“What went on in Georgia was mortifying,” he told the outlet. “White privilege and desperation and disaster … It came from a place of self-centered delusion … It was me trying to absolve myself of guilt for getting arrested.”
Or, as he bluntly, summed it up at the time: “I f – – ked up.”
By Rob Bailey-Millado