Shia LaBeouf denies being fired from Olivia Wilde’s ‘Don’t Worry Darling’

Shia Labeouf has come forward to dispute the claim that he was fired from ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ by the director Olivia Wilde just as production kicked off in 2020.

LaBeouf claims he chose to quit the production because he didn’t feel the cast had enough time to rehearse. In August 24 cover story with VarietyWilde spoke for the first time about LaBeouf’s departure from his 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. 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,” Wilde said.

Representatives for LaBeouf declined Variety‘s request for comment on the matter when contacted before the story was published.

But in the emails sent to Variety on August 25, LaBeouf denied being fired, instead saying he “left the film due to lack of rehearsal time” on August 17, 2020. The actor forwarded two emails he claims having sent to Wilde on August 24 and August 25 after the story was published. In the emails, LaBeouf wrote, “You and I know the reasons for my exit. I left your film because your actors and I didn’t have time to rehearse.

Variety learned that the texts were sent before the production knew what Shia’s immersive method entailed.

Multiple studio sources said Variety at the time of LaBeouf’s exit he had been fired from the project. But another source with knowledge of the situation describes the split as a collective recognition that LaBeouf’s style of acting didn’t match Wilde’s approach as a director. Representatives of Wilde and Warner Bros. declined to comment.

LaBeouf sent Variety screenshots of text messages he sent Wilde in August 2020, where he told Wilde he should back out of “Don’t Worry Darling”. He was cast as lead actor Jack, who was later recast as Harry Styles.

According to the texts, LaBeouf and Wilde met in person in Los Angeles to discuss his release of the film on August 16, 2020. Later that night, Wilde texted him: “Thank you for letting me know your thinking process. 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 agreed 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” left “Don’t Worry Darling” the next day, Aug. 17, 2020, according to the email he sent Wilde Thursday morning.

He included a video for Variety which Wilde allegedly sent to him on August 19, 2020, two days after claiming to have resigned. In the video, Wilde drives a car and says she’s “not ready to give up yet.” She also alludes to the tension between LaBeouf and Florence Pugh, who plays Alice, Jack’s wife, LaBeouf and Styles’ character in the film.

“I feel like I’m not ready to let go of this yet, and I too am heartbroken and want to figure this out,” she says in the video. “You know, I think that 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 puts really his mind and his heart at this point and if you can make peace – and I respect your point of view, I respect his – but if you can do that, what do you think? Hope? Will you let me know?”

In another message sent at an unspecified time between Aug. 16 and Aug. 20, Wilde texted LaBeouf, “You don’t have to be in my movies, but never doubt me. We pinky promised. It means something in my house.

Here is the email from LaBeouf to Wilde sent on Wednesday:

Olivier,

I hope this finds you inspired, determined, accomplished and well. I pray every night for you and your family to have health, happiness and all that God would give me. No kidding, every night before bed.

I have a little girl, Isabel; she is five months old and just beginning to develop the last half of her laughter; it’s incredible. Mia, my wife and I have found each other and are on our way to a healthy family with love and mutual respect.

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

What inspired this email today is your last Variety story. 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 leaving. I stopped your film because your actors and I couldn’t find time to rehearse. I’ve included screenshots of our text exchange that day, and my text to Tobey, as a reminder.

I know that you are starting your press campaign for DWD 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.

My failures with Twigs are fundamental and real, but they are not the narrative that was presented. There is a time and a place to deal with such things, and I try to navigate a nuanced situation with respect for her and the truth, hence my silence. But this situation with your movie and my “firing” will never have a court date to deal with facts. 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 your movie succeeds in all the ways you want it to be.

Every blessing to you,

Shiite

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