Transformers star Shia LaBeouf has revealed how he found the father of all roles in Man Down.
The 29-year-old actor plays Gabriel Drummer, a former US marine searching desperately for his son in post-apocalyptic America in Dito Montiel's war thriller, which had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.
"He reminded me of the dad I had, and also the dad I wanted," he said.
"The father-son stuff reminded me of Kramer vs Kramer - that's my favourite movie. So there's those pancake scenes but it was harder because it was like The Deer Hunter meets Kramer vs Kramer, if I was pitching it to somebody."
He added: "I thought it was a really compelling story. He's more a father than a soldier. The soldier stuff was sort of sidebar, everything else was far more important to the script. Not to downplay it or anything but personally it was less of a priority."
The star's attendance at the Canadian festival saw him take on a more serious turn, following his controversial appearance at last year's Berlin Film Festival, where he wore a brown paper bag on his head, with the words "I am not famous any more" written on it.
LaBeouf, who also starred in war thriller Fury alongside Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman and Michael Pena, said he bared his soul in the role, explaining there is a thin boundary between his screen persona and his real self.
"I don't have a big line. I'm sure there's a whole lot of him in me, Gabriel in me, and you do take it home, at least when you're working on it," he said.
"You try to shake it and give it some other train of thought when you get out, but that's me up there. That's my soul up there.
"That's all I have to offer you - to bare my soul. That's what I do for a living: I open up and let you (viewers) look."