Actor Shia Labeouf has credited director Dito Montiel with helping him bounce back from a series of personal dramas by hiring him for new film Man Down, insisting the filmmaking process was "like therapy" for him.
The Transformers star hit headlines last year (14) after storming out of a press conference at the Berlin International Film Festival and then attending the premiere of his movie Nymphomaniac with a paper bag, emblazoned with the words, 'I am not famous anymore', over his head.
The stunt appeared to spark a downward spiral for LaBeouf as his behavior became all the more erratic, culminating in an arrest for disorderly conduct after disrupting a Broadway performance of Cabaret and tussling with police outside the theater.
The 29 year old, who completed a court-ordered alcohol treatment program as punishment for the arrest earlier this year (15), has since managed to turn his life around, and he claims reuniting with Montiel, years after shooting their 2006 drama A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints, really helped to kickstart his journey to recovery.
LaBeouf, who plays a Marine battling post-traumatic stress disorder in a post-apocalyptic world in Man Down, touched on his 2014 woes while speaking to reporters at the Venice Film Festival on Sunday (06Sep15), saying, "He (Montiel) came to my house when I was in a really low place and offered it (the role) to me like therapy, like, 'Here's a healing process so we can jump into together and get well.'"
The project helped the actor realize he now only wants to work with "friends".
He added, "I want to work with people that I have a connection with. I think for a while I was chasing the 10 list, right? The 10 directors you want to work with - and that didn't fare well for me.
"I do much better with loving, familial environments where you feel like you can fail and the dude will get you on the other side. So I'm trying to make friends now and work with those people."