The "Transformers" actor stars alongside Zack Gottsagen in the movie about two men adrift on a raft while trying to sail from North Carolina to Florida, and he explains he was in a mess emotionally while he was making the project.
"I felt really fragile coming in, but got even more fragile when we were there," he said at the South by Southwest film festival over the weekend (March 09-10). "A lot of the stuff you see on the boat is me at bottom barrel."
"I was also reaching for God real heavy," he added. "I don't know if I could have heard some of the things I heard from any other man. We had conversations I wouldn't have carried on with any other person... really deep conversations you can only have with Zack, otherwise you would dip off and it would feel too saccharine."
Shia was arrested for disorderly conduct, public drunkenness, and obstruction in Georgia during the shoot. Video footage of the incident, obtained by TMZ.com, showed LaBeouf verbally abusing the arresting officers, telling an African-American cop he was going to hell for the colour of his skin.
LaBeouf subsequently issued a public apology, insisting he was "deeply ashamed" of his behaviour, and started working on his sobriety. However, Zack explains he also helped the actor turn his life around while they were working together.
"Shia had been (through) struggle and bad times," Gottsagen said. "I did change Shia's life around to make it better."