“You and I both know the reasons for my departure,” LaBeouf told director Wilde, who claimed he left the film due to insufficient rehearsal time.
Shia LaBeouf claims he quit “Don’t Worry Darling” after director Olivia Wilde said he was fired from the production.
After a Variety cover story in which Wilde spoke candidly about LaBeouf’s recast and Harry Styles taking over, LaBeouf wrote an email to the director of Booksmart addressing her “story” of the events. LaBeouf shared the letter, along with text messages and a personal video sent from Wilde to LaBeouf during production in 2020, to IndieWire. LaBeouf claims he stopped the film due to insufficient rehearsal time.
“What inspired this email today is your latest Variety story,” LaBeouf wrote in part to Wilde. “I am very honored by your words about my work; thank you, that felt good to read. However, I am a bit confused about the story that I was fired. You and I both know the reasons for my departure. I stopped your film because your actors and I couldn’t find time to rehearse. I have attached the screenshots of our text exchange that day, and my text to Tobey [Emmerich].”
LaBeouf added, “I know you’re starting your press round for DWD and the news of my firing is a compelling clickbait as I’m still persona-non-grata and may well remain that way for the rest of my life.”
LaBeouf noted his departure date as August 17, 2020. The “Honey Boy” actor also shared that he has now been sober for 627 days and felt the need to weigh up Wilde’s current statements about what happened more than two years ago.
“Firing me never happened, Olivia. And while I fully understand how appealing it is to push that story because of the current social landscape, the social currency that comes with it, it’s not the truth,” said LaBeouf. “So I humbly ask, as a person with an eye for making things right, that you correct the story as best you can. I hope this doesn’t affect you negatively, and that your film is successful in all the ways you want it to.”
LaBeouf did not respond to IndieWire’s request for further comment, and Wilde’s representatives declined to comment.
LaBeouf has attached screenshots of lyrics that were allegedly by Wilde at the time of production. Wilde apparently sent LaBeouf this message the night before he officially resigned from the production: “Thank you for letting me think about your thought process. I know that’s not fun. It doesn’t feel right to say no to someone, and I respect your honesty,” Wilde wrote. “I’m honored that you wanted to come with me so I could tell a story with you. I’m gutted because it could have been something special. I want to make it clear how much it means to me that you trust me, that’s a gift I’m taking with me.”
LaBeouf also circulated a video Wilde sent him while he was driving a car, in which he said LaBeouf’s impending departure could be “a bit of a wake-up call for Miss Flo,” referring to head star Florence Pugh.
“I feel like I’m not ready to give this up yet, and I’m heartbroken too, 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 trying this with me, with us. If she’s really committed, if she’s really putting her heart and heart into it right now and if you can make peace – and I respect your point of view, I respect hers – but if you 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 promised pink. 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 I demand in my productions. He has a process that in some ways seems like a combative energy.” and I personally don’t believe that is conducive to the best performance.”
Wilde continued: “There was a lot that came to light after this happened that really worried me, in terms of his behavior. For our film, we really needed an energy that was incredibly supportive. Especially with a film like this, I knew I was going to be Florence.” would ask to be in very vulnerable situations, and my priority was to make her feel safe and feel supported.”
She concluded: “I believe that creating a safe, trusted environment is the best way to let people do their best work. Ultimately, it is my responsibility to protect the production and the cast. That was my job.”
Read LaBeouf’s full email to Wilde sent on Aug. 24 following her comments to Variety:
I hope this finds you inspired, purposeful, fulfilled and good. I pray every night that you and your family have health, happiness and everything that God would give me. No joke, every night before I go to sleep.
I have a little girl, Isabel; she is five months old and just starting to develop the last half of her smile; It is awesome. Mia, my wife and I have found each other again and are on our way to a healthy family with love and mutual respect.
I have embarked on a journey that feels liberating 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 reached out to you a few months ago to make up for it; & I still pray that one day you can find space in your heart to forgive me for the failed partnership we shared.
What inspired this email today is your latest Variety story. I am greatly honored by your words about my work; thank you, that felt good to read. However, I am a bit confused about the story that I was fired. You and I both know the reasons for my departure. I stopped your film because your actors and I couldn’t find time to rehearse. As a reminder, I’ve attached the screenshots of our text exchange that day, and my text to Tobey.
I know you’re starting your press round for DWD and the news of my firing is a compelling clickbait as I’m still persona-non-grata and may be for the rest of my life. But when I talk about my daughter, I often think about the news articles she will read when she is literate. And though I owe something, and will be guilty for the rest of my life, I am guilty only for my deeds.
My shortcomings with Twigs are fundamental and real, but they are not the story 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 to deal with the facts. When lies are repeated enough in public, they become truth. And so it makes it much harder for me to crawl out of the hole I’ve dug with my behavior, to provide for my family.
Getting fired never happened, Olivia. And while I fully understand how appealing it is to push that story because of the current social landscape, the social currency that comes with it. It’s not the truth. So I humbly ask, as a person with an eye for making things right, that you correct the story as best you can. I hope this doesn’t affect you negatively, and that your film is successful in every way you want it to.
All blessings to you,