Shia LaBeouf Denies Olivia Wilde Fired Him from Don’t Worry Darling
Shia LaBeouf Denies Olivia Wilde Fired Him from Don’t Worry Darling

"You and I both know the reasons for my exit," LaBeouf told director Wilde, claiming that he quit the movie due to inadequate rehearsal time.

Shia LaBeouf is claiming he quit “Don’t Worry Darling” after director Olivia Wilde said that he was fired from the production.

Following a Variety cover story with Wilde opening up about LaBeouf’s recasting and Harry Styles taking over the role, LaBeouf wrote an email to the “Booksmart” director addressing her “narrative” of events. LaBeouf shared the letter, along with text message exchanges and a personal video sent from Wilde to LaBeouf during production in 2020, with IndieWire. LaBeouf claims he quit the movie due to inadequate rehearsal time.

“What inspired this email today is your latest Variety story,” LaBeouf wrote to Wilde in part. “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 [Emmerich].”

LaBeouf added, “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.”

LaBeouf noted his exit date as August 17, 2020. The “Honey Boy” actor also shared that he is now 627 days sober and felt the need to weigh in on Wilde’s current statements about what transpired more than two years ago.

“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,” LaBeouf stated. “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 did not respond to IndieWire’s request for further comment, and representatives for Wilde declined to comment.

LaBeouf attached screenshots of texts allegedly from Wilde at the time of production. Wilde seemingly sent LaBeouf this message the night before he officially resigned from production: “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,” Wilde wrote. “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 also circulated a video that Wilde sent him while driving a car, saying that LaBeouf’s threatened exit could be “a bit of a wake-up call for Miss Flo,” referencing lead star Florence Pugh.

“I feel like I’m not ready to give up on this yet, and I too am heartbroken, and I want to figure this out,” Wilde says 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 open to giving this 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 guys can make peace — and I respect your point of view, I respect hers — but if you guys can do it, what do you think? Is there hope? Will you let me know?”

In another text message sent between August 16 and August 20, 2020, Wilde texted LaBeouf, “You don’t have to be in my movies but don’t ever doubt me. We pinky promised. That means something in my house.”

Wilde recently told Variety that she is still “such an admirer” of LaBeouf’s work but “his process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions. 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.”

Wilde continued, “A lot came to light after this happened that really troubled me, in terms of his behavior. For our film, what we really needed was an energy that was incredibly supportive. Particularly with a movie like this, I knew that I was going to be asking Florence to be in very vulnerable situations, and my priority was making her feel safe and making her feel supported.”

She concluded, “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.”

Read LaBeouf’s full email to Wilde sent August 24 after her comments to 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 negativly effects you, and that your film is succesful in all the ways you want it to be.

Every Blessing To You,

Shia

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