Shia LaBeouf says co-star with Down's Syndrome saved him following alcohol problems

Shia LaBeouf says co-star with Down's Syndrome saved him following alcohol problems

In an interview with UK's Channel 4 on Friday, Shia LaBeouf told journalist Cathy Newman that Zack Gottsagen, an actor with Down's Syndrome who he played alongside in his new movie, The Peanut Butter Falcon, saved him after a series of "embarrassing" incidents that eventually led to his arrest back in July 2017.

In the movie, Zak (played by Zack Gottsagen) runs away from his nursing home to pursue his dream of being a professional wrestler and ends up befriending an outlaw on the run, Tyler (played by LaBeouf). The feelgood adventure movie has been getting rave reviews and is currently rated 95% on Rotten Tomatoes.

Take a look at the trailer for The Peanut Butter Falcon:

Shia rose to fame on the Disney Channel as a young teenager in the early 2000s, and his future in the business seemed promising. But throughout his adult career, it has often been his persona, rather than his talent, that has been the focus of intense media scrutiny.

Credit: PA

According to Shia, though, all he needed was a brutally honest talk with co-star Zack Gottsagen to bring him back from a "twisted" time in his life.

"[He] nursed me back, on a boat, during a scene where we’re talking about the painful past. That stuff hurts," Shia said of Zack.

The Even Stevens actor had been arrested on charges of public drunkenness, obstruction, and disorderly conduct the day before the boat scene and "couldn't really look anybody in the eye".

Check out this interview the pair did while promoting their upcoming movie:

It was there on the boat that Gottsagen put his hand on Shia's shoulder and simply told the troubled actor what he needed to hear.

Gottsagen then explained to Newman that he gave LaBeouf "one chance to prove to himself: never, never, never do this kind of stuff again".

When Newman asked LaBeouf: "So actually the film sort of saved you in a way – would that be too dramatic to say?" He replied: "No it’s not too dramatic to say."

The Peanut Butter Falcon is for release on October 18.