While you don’t hear too much from him now, there was a time when Shia LaBeouf was in the press pretty regularly, and not always for the best reasons. A several-month period of mania culminated in the actor being arrested on charges of public drunkenness, obstruction, and disorderly conduct. It was a dark time in his life, and one that he credits his Peanut Butter Falcon co-star Zack Gottsagen with helping him rebound from.
While being interviewed by Channel 4 in the UK on Friday, LaBeouf revealed that his arrest came in the middle of filming on the movie. Upon returning to work to continue shooting, he felt like he “couldn’t really look anybody in the eye” because he felt so embarrassed and ashamed. It was then that Gottsgen came to his rescue.
— Channel 4 News (@Channel4News) October 4, 2019
“[He] nursed me back, on a boat, during a scene where we’re talking about, like, the painful past,” LaBeouf recalled. “That stuff hurts.”
However, while Gottsagen was there to offer support and understanding to LaBeouf, he wasn’t shy about offering his fellow actor a little tough love as well. In fact, Gottsagen admitted during the same interview that he gave LaBeouf “one chance to prove to himself: never, never, never do this kind of stuff again.”
“He turned my spark back on.”
Shia LaBeouf tells Sky’s @Bethanyminelle co-star Zack Gottsagen reignited his love of acting and bought his inner-child back to life.
The pair star alongside each other in the new film The Peanut Butter Falcon.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) October 8, 2019
It seems to have worked, with LaBeouf admitting that the experience helped him pull his life together.
“So actually the film sort of saved you in a way? Is that too dramatic to say?” interviewer Cathy Newman asked him, to which LaBeouf responded, “No, it’s not too dramatic to say.”
It was that experience on the boat which prompted LaBeouf to take a vow of sobriety, and he’s never touched a drink since, his mother told The Times of London earlier this month.
— The Peanut Butter Falcon (@tpbfalcon) September 17, 2019
In an interview with Esquire in 2018, LaBeouf also credited Gottsagen with helping him get his life together, saying, “Zack can’t not shoot straight, and bless him for it, ’cause in that moment, I needed a straight shooter who I couldn’t argue with.”
He added that Gottsagen’s disappointment in him “probably changed the course of [his] life.”