Shia LaBeouf’s role in the new film The Peanut Butter Falcon was a game-changer for the actor, on account of his friendship with costar Zack Gottsagen. At the film’s Los Angeles premiere on Thursday, August 1, LaBeouf told Us Weekly and other reporters that Gottsagen helped him through upheaval in his personal life.
“I met [Zach] at a wild time in my life,” LaBeouf, 33, revealed. “You know, Zach kept telling me to slow down and pace myself, among other things. … There was a time where like, I really couldn’t look at too many other people [or] really talk to too many other people. We were locked in, and plus, we were on a boat together, so we were isolated a lot. And then we’d get off set and we’d go hang out alone, you know? And every once in a while [costar] Dakota [Johnson] would come over and that was a whole other kind of hangout. But really, it was me and him laying in bed, watching, wrestling, talking s–t, going through the script, going through our lives.”
On Thursday, however, LaBeouf told Us he was in “a good spot” in his life, having had many conversations on set with Gottsagen, 34, as they portrayed an outlaw and an aspiring wrestler, respectively, who become friends as they sail down the North Carolina coast.
“[He] taught me about myself,” the Disney Channel alum continued. “I’ve never been so quiet. I never talked so little. I’ve never listened so much. When he gets going, he gets going. He really starts dropping bombs, you know, and if you listen, he’s one of the purest [people]. He is the purest person I’ve ever met. There is no cynicism in him. There’s no irony. So everything he’s saying is coming from a very sincere place. And I guess when I met him, I just wasn’t on any kind of Bart Simpson s–t at all. I really needed sincerity in my life, and he happened to be that vessel, and I was desperately reaching for something, and he came into my life at the same time, and we just started having heavy talks immediately.”
Throughout their talks, LaBeouf realized that he and Gottsagen had a lot in common. “You know, we’re both quite sheltered,” he said on Thursday. “We both come from like really loving mothers, absent fathers. … I mean, we just connected on a lot of levels, more than just the role and all that, but also the fact that we both love this craft a lot and had dreams towards this thing forever. And I was hyper-aware that this was his shot and his opportunity and made as much space as possible. And he made space for me cause I came in a little crooked. And, you know, we just loved on each other.”
The Peanut Butter Falcon hits theaters on Friday, August 9.