Shia LaBeouf has pushed back on Olivia Wilde’s comments this week about his exit from her film “Don’t Worry Darling,” saying he chose to quit the film and denied being fired, as Wilde stated.
LaBeouf on Friday contacted Variety directly after the publication of their cover story with Wilde and shared emails that he allegedly sent to Wilde claiming that he ultimately left the film on August 17, 2020, over a “lack of rehearsal time.”
“You and I both know the reasons for my exit. I quit your film because your actors and I couldn’t find time to rehearse,” he said in part in the email. “Firing me never took place, Olivia. And while I fully understand the attractiveness of pushing that story because of the current social landscape, the social currency that brings. It is not the truth. So I am humbly asking, as a person with an eye toward making things right, that you correct the narrative as best you can. I hope none of this negatively effects you, and that your film is successful in all the ways you want it to be.”
LaBeouf was originally cast as the male lead in “Don’t Worry Darling,” Jack, playing Florence Pugh’s husband. The part was later recast and given to Harry Styles.
Update: also on Friday, fans posted on social media a video message Wilde appears to have sent LaBeouf, asking him to reconsider quitting the film while referring to Pugh as “Miss Flo,” a phrase that trended on Twitter. “I think this might be a bit of a wake up call for Miss Flo,” Wilde says in the video message, asking if they might still work together. The source of the video could not be immediately determined.
Wilde this week broke her silence on LaBeouf, saying that his more “immersive” acting style was not a good fit for the film.
“I say this as someone who is such an admirer of his work. His process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions,” Wilde told Variety in the cover story. “He has a process that, in some ways, seems to require a combative energy, and I don’t personally believe that is conducive to the best performances. I believe that creating a safe, trusting environment is the best way to get people to do their best work. Ultimately, my responsibility is to the production and to the cast to protect them. That was my job.”
LaBeouf also shared with Variety text messages he exchanged with Wilde back in August 2020 and a brief, including one Wilde sent back to him after informing her of his exit from the film.
“Thanks for letting me in on your thought process. I know that isn’t fun. Doesn’t feel good to say no to someone, and I respect your honesty,” the alleged text from Wilde read. “I’m honored you were willing to go there with me, for me to tell a story with you. I’m gutted because it could have been something special. I want to make clear how much it means to me that you trust me. That’s a gift I’ll take with me.”
Reps for LaBeouf did not respond to a request for comment.
LaBeouf’s career took a major hit shortly after exiting “Don’t Worry Darling” when he was accused of sexual misconduct by his ex-girlfriend, singer FKA Twigs. His lawyers have denied the accusations. A trial on her lawsuit against LaBeouf is scheduled to begin in April.
He did however recently star in a project called “Padre Pio” from director Abel Ferrara. And on Thursday, LaBeouf did a video interview with Bishop Barron in which he discussed the film as well as his life since the sexual misconduct accusation, saying in the interview that he contemplated suicide after his career began to fall apart.
“I had a gun on the table. I was outta here,” he said with Word on Fire Catholic Ministries’ Bishop Robert Barron. “I didn’t want to be alive anymore when all this happened. Shame like I had never experienced before — the kind of shame that you forget how to breathe. You don’t know where to go. You can’t go outside and get like a, a taco.”
Read LaBeouf’s full email via Variety, and see his recent interview below.