Shia LaBeouf Says Olivia Wilde Didn’t Fire Him Because He Quit

“I am a little confused about the narrative that I was fired, however. You and I both know the reasons for my exit,” LaBeouf wrote
419

Shia LaBeouf would like to let the record reflect that he wasn’t fired from Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling at the start of production in 2020.

Rather, he says it was his decision to depart Wilde’s directorial debut over artistic reasons. In particular, LaBeouf claims that the actors weren’t given enough time to rehearse.

But as Wilde recently told told the tale to Variety—where she also shared her true feeling about being served child custody papers while onstage at CinemaCon—LaBeouf’s artistic method required a “combative energy,” among other things.

“His process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions,” Wilde explained. “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.”

While LaBeouf’s representatives declined Variety‘s request for comment, LaBeouf himself emailed the magazine on Thursday, refuting Wilde’s account and inisting that he “quit the film due to lack of rehearsal time” in August 2020. He also forwarded two emails he claims he sent Wilde on Wednesday and Thursday—immediately after her story was published. In the emails, he wrote, “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.”

According to a Variety source, the breakup was “more of a collective recognition that LaBeouf’s style of acting wasn’t a good fit for Wilde’s approach as a director.”

LaBeouf’s role was later filled by Harry Styles.

According to the texts sent on August 16, a week after LaBeouf says he quit, he and Wilde met in person in Los Angeles to discuss his leaving the film.

Later in the evening, Wilde texted him, “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. 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.”

LaBeouf says he “officially” quit Don’t Worry Darling on the following day, Aug. 17, 2020.

When all was said and done, LaBeouf responded the way many jilted males do: with a long, long letter directed towards the female who wronged him, via Variety:

Olivia,

I hope this finds you inspired, purposeful, fulfilled & well. I pray every night that you & your family have health, happiness, & everything God would give me. No joke, every night before I sleep.

I have a little girl, Isabel; she is five months old and just beginning to develop the last half of her laugh; it’s AMAZING. Mia, my wife & I have found each other again & are journeying toward a healthy family with love and mutual respect.

I have embarked on a journey that feels redemptive & righteous (dirty word but fitting). I write to you now with 627 days of sobriety and a moral compass that never existed before my great humbling that was the last year and a quarter of my life. I reached out to you a few months ago to make amends; & I still pray one day, you can find space in your heart to forgive me for the failed collaboration we shared.

What inspired this email today is your latest Variety story. I am greatly honored by your words on my work; thank you, that felt good to read. I am a little confused about the narrative that I was fired, however. You and I both know the reasons for my exit. I quit your film because your actors & I couldn’t find time to rehearse. I have included as a reminder the screenshots of our text exchange on that day, and my text to Tobey.

I know that you are beginning your press run for DWD and that the news of my firing is attractive clickbait, as I am still persona-non-grata and may remain as such for the rest of my life. But, speaking of my daughter, I often think about the news articles she will read when she is literate. And though I owe, and will owe for the rest of my life, I only owe for my actions.

My failings with Twigs are fundamental and real, but they are not the narrative that has been presented. There is a time and a place to deal with such things, and I am trying to navigate a nuanced situation with respect for her and the truth, hence my silence. But this situation with your film and my “firing” will never have a court date with which to deal with the facts. If lies are repeated enough in the public they become truth. And so, it makes it that much harder for me to crawl out of the hole I have dug with my behaviors, to be able to provide for my family.

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.

Every Blessing To You,

Shia

If the missive reads a little odd to you, LaBeouf long history of being odd, including multiple arrests. Most recently, he was accused of of sexual misconduct by his ex-girlfriend, singer FKA Twigs. His legal team has denied all allegations. A trial is scheduled for April.


Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign for our newsletters today