After Olivia Wilde’s statements, Shia LaBeouf is coming forward to dispute the claim that he was fired from “Don’t Worry Darling” by the director herself, when production began in 2020.
However, in an interview with Variety published on August 24, the director opened up for the first time about the actor’s departure from her film, suggesting that she had fired him.
“I say this as someone who is an admirer of his work. His process was not conducive to the ethos that I‘requires in my productions. It has a process that in some ways seems to require combative energy, and I personally don’t think that’s conducive to the best performance. I believe that creating a safe and trusting environment is the best way to get people to do their best. Ultimately, my responsibility is to the production and the actors to protect them. It was my job”, said Olivia Wilde.
Contacted before the article was published, representatives for Shia LaBeouf declined to comment. But in emails sent to Variety this Thursday, Aug. 25, the comedian denies being fired, saying he “left the film due to lack of rehearsal time” on Aug. 17, 2020.
SHIA LABEOUF RESPONDS
Shia LaBeouf has indeed transmitted to Variety two e-mails that he claims to have sent to Olivia Wilde. He talks about a “redemptive and righteous journey” he has embarked on and writes “with 627 days of sobriety” behind him.
He also adds that he contacted him a few months earlier to make amends and ask his forgiveness for this failed collaboration, but he is now asking for the “truth” after the director’s statements.
I am very honored by your words about my work; thank you, good to read you. I’m a little confused about the story that I was fired, though. You and I know the reasons for my departure. I left your film because your actors and I couldn’t find time to rehearse.
He pursues : “I know you’re starting your press campaign for DWD [Don’t Worry Darling] and that the news of my dismissal is attractive bait because I am still persona-non-grata and could remain so for the rest of my life. But speaking of my daughter, I often think of the press articles she will read when she becomes literate. And though I owe, and owe for the rest of my life, I only owe for my actions. […]
If the lies are repeated enough in public, they become the truth. And so, that makes it all the more difficult for me to get out of the hole that I dug with my behaviors to be able to provide for my family.
Getting fired never happened, Olivia. And while I completely understand the appeal of pushing this story because of the current social landscape, the social currency that brings. That’s not the truth. So I humbly ask, as someone who cares about getting it right, that you correct the narrative as best you can. I hope none of this affects you negatively and that your movie succeeds in all the ways you want it to succeed.”
But “the case” does not stop there. Chosen for the lead role in the film – which was then offered to Harry Styles –, Shia LaBeouf also added as attachments screenshots of messages sent to Olivia Wilde in August 2020, where he tells her that he should withdraw from Don’t Worry Darling because of the reason cited.
According to the texts, LaBeouf and Wilde met in person in Los Angeles to discuss his departure from the film on August 16, 2020. Later that night, Wilde reportedly texted him the following:
“Thank you for sharing your thought process with me. I know it’s not fun. It doesn’t feel good to say no to someone and I respect your honesty. I’m honored that you were willing to go with me, to tell a story with you. I’m disgusted because it could have been something special. I want to make it clear how much it means to me that you trust me. It is a gift that I will take with me.”
LaBeouf claims he “officially” exited the feature the following day, August 17, 2020.
While it was said that the actor had been thanked for his too “methodical” preparation for the game (“Method acting”), Variety however specifies that the text messages were sent before the production knew what the immersive method of the actor involved.
TENSIONS WITH FLORENCE PUGH?
Also in his email, the actor includes a video that Olivia Wilde would have sent him on August 19, 2020, two days after his resignation.
In it, the director says she’s “not ready to give up yet” and also alludes to tension between Shia LaBeouf and Florence Pughwho plays the wife of LaBeouf and Styles’ character, Jack.
“I feel like I’m not ready to let go of this yet, and I too am heartbroken and want to understand”, says Olivia in the video. “You know, I think this might be a bit of a wake-up call for Miss Flo and I want to know if you’re ready to give it a shot with me, with us. If she really commits, if she really puts her mind and heart into it at this point and if you can make peace – and I respect your point of view, I respect hers – but if you can do that, what do you think about it? Is there hope? Can you let me know?”
In another message sent at an unspecified time between August 16 and August 20, Olivia Wilde also wrote to him: “You don’t have to be in my movies but never doubt me. We promise, swear? It means something to me.”
Publicity stunt from Olivia Wilde or truth, the case is therefore to follow for the most intrigued.
In the meantime, Don’t Worry Darling will be released on our big screens on September 21.