The Sweet Story Behind Shia LaBeouf’s Oscars Date
Shia LaBeouf was among the stars who walked the red carpet at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles.
Instead of taking whoever he's dating, his best mate or someone from his family, the Hollywood actor decided to take his co-star from The Peanut Butter Falcon, Zack Gottsagen.
The comedy-drama follows Gottsagen's character, Zak, a 22-year-old with Down syndrome, who lives in a retirement home in North Carolina and dreams of becoming a professional wrestler.
One night, Zak sneaks out to watch his wrestling idol and hides in a boat owned by LaBeouf's character Tyler. After initially not wanting anything to do with him, Tyler eventually takes Zak under his wing and helps him get to the wrestling school he's always wanted to go to.
This was Gottsagen's first ever time at the Oscars and he seemed absolutely stoked. The duo also got on stage together to present the award for best live action short film.
When asked about what his reaction was to working with LaBeouf, Gottsagen said it was incredible because he used to watch the Transformers star on the Disney channel while growing up.
"I was just so happy just to meet him," he told Variety.
But interestingly, LaBeouf credits Gottsagen with helping him to stay sober after several years of run-ins with police.
Gottsagen expressed to the 33-year-old that he was disappointed with all the stories he saw in the news about one particular run-in with the law during shooting.
LaBeouf told his co-star that he was going to turn his life around and has stayed true to his word.
The Peanut Butter Falcon wasn't the actor's only project that was released last year, with Honey Boy also attracting praise from critics and fans around the world.
The semi-autobiographical movie saw LaBeouf starring as his own father, while his younger self was played by Lucas Hedges. The name of the film came from the actor's nickname as he was growing up.
Anne Hornaday from The Washington Post was complimentary when she wrote: "In this intense, unsettling, modestly triumphant portrait of the artist as a young man, LaBeouf shows us not only how he grew up, but what it cost him along the way."
Meanwhile, Slate's Inkoo Kang added: "LaBeouf is so revelatory as both writer and actor that the film defies cynicism about its second purpose as celebrity image management. It just makes you excited about the work."
The Victoria Advocate's Joe Friar also showered the film with praise, writing: "Shia LaBeouf's semi-autobiographical film is superb as the actor bares his soul. One of the best films of 2019."
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