Shia LaBeouf releases email exchanges that hint at chemistry issues with Alec Baldwin
Shia LaBeouf is taking a cue from his former co-star Alec Baldwin and using Twitter to defend his actions — in this case his split from "Orphans" on Broadway.
The show, which begins previews in less than a month, was to be the "Transformers" star's Great White Way debut. In a brief statement Wednesday, the actor's departure was attributed to those pesky "creative differences."
But LaBeouf, whose propensity to over-share has gotten him in trouble in the past, took to Twitter within hours of the announcement to post private emails from the show's director Daniel Sullivan and co-stars Baldwin and Tom Sturridge.
He also mused about the role of theater in society and posted his audition video for the show (he's twitchy, intense and, it must be said, pretty convincing as a criminal with a short fuse).
The correspondence does little to clarify the reasons for his abrupt exit, though his exchange with Sullivan hints at chemistry issues with Baldwin.
"I'm too old for disagreeable situations," Sullivan writes. "You're one hell of a great actor. Alec is who he is. You are who you are. You two are incompatible. I should have known it. This one will haunt me. You tried to warn me. You said you were a different breed. I didn't get it."
But an individual close to the production told TheWrap that the split had nothing to do with Baldwin; it was due to conflicts between the star and the show's producers, Frederick Zollo and Robert Cole.
Spokespeople for the production did not respond to requests for comment.
In his emails, LaBeouf also demonstrates a flair for the dramatic that New York theater critics will be denied an opportunity to see in the flesh.
"My dad was a drug dealer," LaBeouf writes. "He was a shit human. But he was a man. He taught me how to be a man. What I know of men Alec is."
"A man owns up," he adds. "That's why Mark McGuire is not a man."
If the message from Baldwin is to be believed, LaBeouf's former cast-mate wishes him well.
After LaBeouf apologizes for creating a "disagreeable situation," Baldwin assures him he doesn't have an "unkind word to say about you."
"I've been through this before," Baldwin writes. "It's been a while. And perhaps some of the particulars are different. But it comes down to the fact that what we all do now is critical. Perhaps especially for you. When the change comes, how do we handle it, whether it be good or bad? What do we learn?"
A spokesman for Baldwin declined to comment and a spokeswoman for LaBeouf did not respond to requests for comment.
Sturridge also is complimentary in his note to LaBeouf.
"I was stunned by the work you were doing, the performance you were giving," he writes."I think you lifted the play to a place higher than maybe it even deserved to be."
This is not the first time that LaBeouf has gotten in trouble for running his mouth off in public. In the past he irritated Steven Spielberg by speaking ill of their collaboration on "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull"; said Oliver Stone played too nice when they teamed up on "Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps," and once revealed that he hooked up with "Transformers" co-star Megan Fox when she was on a break from her husband Brian Austin Green.
His frank talk and propensity to criticize former collaborators has inspired at least one high-profile rebuke.
Harrison Ford told Details Magazine that he was displeased by his co-stars comments about the Indiana Jones sequel.
"I think I told him he was a f—ing idiot," Ford said. "As an actor, I think it's my obligation to support the film without making a complete ass of myself."
Story continues below LaBeouf's audition video
On Wednesday and Thursday, LaBeouf also took the opportunity to share some colorful thoughts about acting, as well as some historical lessons of questionable veracity.
"Actors used to be buried with a stake through the heart," he tweeted. "Those peoples performances so troubled on-lookers that they feared their ghosts."
Oh, and based on his messages with Rick Sordelet, the show's fight director and a faculty member at Yale University's drama school, an MFA may be in LaBeouf's future…possibly one from a certain New Haven-based institute of higher learning.
In a message, Sordelet hails LaBeouf's work ethic and says he has been in touch with the head of the school's acting program about having him matriculate.
"It must have been difficult for others in the room to be schooled by someone who's raw talent and enthusiasm out matched theirs," Sordelet writes.
Sounds like somebody might be passing James Franco on the quad some day soon.