Shia LaBeouf says he wrestled naked with Tom Hardy but 'did not knock him out'

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Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy (Credit: Gareth Cattermole/Getty Images)

Back when they were making the 2012 period crime drama Lawless, claims emerged from the set that Shia LaBeouf 'knocked out' fellow star Tom Hardy.

The incident reportedly occurred after LaBeouf, deep into his method immersion, had drunk 'moonshine by the gallon', the anecdote appearing in a profile on the Transformers star in Esquire magazine.

Director John Hillcoat also corroborated the tale, saying during an AMA session on Reddit that 'there was definitely a fight between them. It escalated to the point where they had to both be restrained'.

Read more: Playing own dad was like ‘an exorcism’ says LaBeouf

But it turns out there's a little more to it than that, the LaBeouf tells it, and rather than being adversaries on set, they got on like a house on fire and the fighting, while pretty intense, was all good natured.

“Yeah, it’s a bunch of bulls**t,” LaBeouf told Sean Evans on the Hot Ones web series.

Lawless (Credit: The Weinstein Company)

“We used to wrestle all the time and [Tom Hardy’s] a big f**king person, especially then. He was getting ready [to play] Bane.

“One time, my girlfriend at the time was over at my house, we were on the balcony, and we saw him and his trainer coming back from the gym.

“We used to f**k with each other all the time but it just so happened that, this one week, my girlfriend was in town. He runs into the room, and the girl I was with at the time was terrified.

“She covered up and she ran into the kitchen and he picked me up and I didn’t have nothing on so now I’m naked on his shoulder. We’re in the hallway, we’re wrestling around.

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“I got a bit upset about it, because he'd got the better of me, but I'm in some weird twisty, naked position. We wound up inching over to the stairs, and he fell down the stairs, wound up hurting his back.

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 19: (L-R) Actors Shia LaBeouf and Tom Hardy attend the "Lawless" Photocall during the 65th Annual Cannes Film Festival at Palais des Festivals on May 19, 2012 in Cannes, France. (Photo by Venturelli/WireImage)

“So for the rest of the shoot, he told everybody I'd knocked him out, but that wasn't the case. We were having some weird, cutey wrestling match.”

Hardy, for his part, has always gone out of his way to praise LaBeouf.

He said in that same Esquire profile: “Shia has the ability to land scene after scene that builds a reality from utter fantasy. We know the robots aren’t really there. They just aren’t. When I watch Shia, they are.”

LaBeouf is poised to release two potentially career-defining movies, in Peanut Butter Falcon and Honey Boy, the latter playing a fictionalised version of his own father.

Both movies have received rave reviews.