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The Peanut Butter Falcon

The Peanut Butter Falcon

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Great Reviews for Zak Gottsagen

Zak (Gottsagen), is a young man with Down syndrome, who runs away from a residential nursing home to follow his dream of attending the professional wrestling school of his idol, The Salt Water Redneck (Thomas Haden Church).

The Peanut Butter Falcon is modern Mark Twain style adventure story and a movie not to miss.

A strange turn of events pairs Zak on the road with Tyler (LaBeouf), a small time outlaw on the run, who becomes Zak’s unlikely coach and ally. Together they wind through deltas, elude capture, drink whisky, find God, catch fish, and convince Eleanor (Johnson), a kind nursing home employee charged with Zak’s return, to join them on their journey.


Dreams come true

Zack Gottsagen dreamed of being an actor as he grew up in West Palm Beach, Florida. “I used to watch Shia LaBeouf on Even Stevens,” Gottsagen, 34, says. “I would dream of working with him someday.”

While some thought Gottsagen’s acting goal seemed unlikely because he has Down syndrome, Gottsagen never let that stop him.  He enrolled in a performing arts school and took acting lessons, and after years of training and dedication to the craft, Gottsagen achieved what many thought would be impossible, by staring in The Peanut Butter Falcon with LaBeouf, 33, and Dakota Johnson. 

Mum Files Suit

Gottsagen’s mom Shelley helped him get to where he is today by fighting Palm Beach County when it rejected his application to a performing arts magnet school. Shelley, now 64, filed suit saying that he should not be denied access due to disability.

Down Syndrome won't stop me

“Down syndrome won’t stop me,” Gottsagen says. “I knew I could do it. It was hard sometimes, but I knew if I worked hard, I would do a good job, and I did. I’m really proud of myself.”

Disability Area of Interest: