Shia LaBeouf Wears a Tiny Clown Painting Around His Neck as a Tribute to His Father
The actor plays a character inspired by his dad Jeffrey Craig LaBeouf, who worked as a rodeo clown, in the semi-autobiographical film Honey Boy out Nov. 8
Shia LaBeouf is dedicated to honoring his father through his work on-screen — and through his wardrobe.
On Wednesday, the actor stepped out in Los Angeles ahead of his appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! wearing a very meaningful accessory — a long pendant necklace featuring a red-and-gold antique picture frame holding a small portrait of a clown against a blue-and-green background.
The painting, created by the movie’s makeup artist Laurene Alvarado, honors LaBeouf’s dad Jeffrey Craig LaBeouf, a former Vietnam vet who worked as a rodeo clown during the actor’s childhood. It also pays homage to the 33-year-old star’s new semi-autobiographical movie, Honey Boy, for which he transforms into a clown to channel a character based on his father.
LaBeouf wore the necklace with a bright yellow sweatshirt, gray jeans and everyone’s favorite tech accessory, AirPods.
Honey Boy, out Nov. 8, stars LaBeouf as the father of a young actor, played by both 12-year-old Noah Jupe and 22-year-old Lucas Hedges, and shows how their complex relationship develops over the years. Even though the movie doesn’t directly reflect LaBeouf’s life (each character has a different name), it loosely follows his journey to stardom.
“It’s a chunk of my life when I was doing a show called Even Stevens, and my dad was coming to the set with me,” LaBeouf said on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Tuesday. “And it’s based around this chunk of time when we were living in a motel by the Fox Hills mall and going to work and that’s what the movies about.”
And LaBeouf, who wrote the screenplay, revealed that his father gave him some directorial advice.
“Yeah, not about any of the heavy stuff. My dad was very particular about this relationship that he had with a chicken named Henrietta LaFowl, who was the world’s first daredevil chicken,” LaBeouf shared about his clown performances. “This was my dad’s act it was like his opus. And my dad used to put this chicken on his head and do cartwheels, and the chicken would run from his head to his butt from his head to his butt.”
“I was in a court-ordered rehab facility and it was part of sussing out my past, flashlight to your soul, trying to get to know myself, like a shedding of skin in a way,” he explains, adding that writing the script was part of his recovery process and a way of dealing with unresolved pain.
Honey Boy is in theaters on Nov. 8.