Shia LaBeouf had already planned to come out of hiding late last week. He gave an interview about how he has converted to Catholicism, he’s speaking about his sobriety (he’s been sober/dry for the better part two years), he credits FKA Twigs’ lawsuit as a wakeup call to get help and he claims to be committed to making things right with all of the people he’s wronged. You can choose to believe what you want of all of that – I find it all very convenient and manipulative, but I hope for the sake of his infant daughter that he’s no longer the abusive monster FKA Twigs described.
So all of that was part of Shia’s planned redemption arc. Then Olivia Wilde addressed the fact that Shia left/was fired from Don’t Worry Darling just before the production began. Olivia told Variety that she fired Shia because “his process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions” and that he requires “a combative energy, and I don’t personally believe that is conducive to the best performances.” She said, repeatedly, that it was her responsibility to “protect” Florence and support her, so that’s why Olivia fired Shia. Except Olivia Wilde was lying her ass off. You can believe what you want about Shia’s redemption or his new manipulation, but honey, that man came with receipts. Shia provided those receipts to Variety, and he also provided them with a copy of an email he sent to Olivia right after her Variety cover dropped.
Shia LaBeouf has come forward to dispute the assertion that he was fired from “Don’t Worry Darling” by director Olivia Wilde just as production was starting in 2020. LaBeouf asserts that he chose to leave the production because he didn’t feel the actors were given adequate time to rehearse. In the Aug. 24 cover story with Variety, Wilde opened up for the first time about LaBeouf’s departure from her film.
LaBeouf’s representatives declined Variety‘s request for comment on the matter when contacted prior to the story’s publication. But in email messages sent to Variety on Thursday, LaBeouf denied he was fired, instead claiming he “quit the film due to lack of rehearsal time” on Aug. 17, 2020. The actor forwarded two emails he claims to have sent to Wilde on Wednesday and Thursday after the Variety cover story was published. In the emails, LaBeouf 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.”
LaBeouf sent Variety screenshots of text messages he sent to Wilde in August 2020, where he told Wilde he’d have to back out of “Don’t Worry Darling.” According to the texts, LaBeouf and Wilde met in person in Los Angeles to discuss his exit from the film on Aug. 16, 2020. Later that night, 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.”
Variety has learned that the texts were sent before the production learned what Shia’s immersive method entailed. LaBeouf claims he “officially” quit “Don’t Worry Darling” the next day on Aug. 17, 2020, according to the email he sent to Wilde on Thursday morning.
In his email to Variety, he included a video that Wilde allegedly sent him on Aug. 19, 2020, two days after he claimed he quit. In the video, Wilde is driving a car and says she is “not ready to give up on this yet.” She also alludes to tension between LaBeouf and Florence Pugh, who stars in the film as Alice, the wife of LaBeouf and Styles’ character Jack.
“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,” she 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 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 don’t ever doubt me. We pinky promised. That means something in my house.”
You can read Shia’s full email in all of its passive aggressive glory over at Variety – I will say again, I have no doubt that Shia is still a piece of sh-t, and his woe-is-me tone combined with his passive-aggression leaves me cold. But again, he kept the receipts and they prove his side of things. In this narrow issue, Shia has credibility and he outed Olivia as a complete f–king liar. It was an ongoing conversation for a week between Olivia and Shia about rehearsing and his method and I believe it was clear to everyone that Shia was not a good fit. But the video message Olivia sent him after he quit is… shocking. The reference to “Miss Flo” needing a “wake-up call” and the reference to the idea that Shia and Florence Pugh had already fallen out? And Olivia suggesting that Florence isn’t really “committed”? Oh, NO. Worry, Darling. And for Olivia to f–king lie so blatantly to a trade paper? Wow.
she wanted florence to make peace with an abuser you cannot make this up pic.twitter.com/T51dAYcElD
— kay (@harrymotif) August 26, 2022
Photos courtesy of Backgrid, cover courtesy of Variety.