Shia LaBeouf has denied that he was fired from the role eventually played by Harry Styles in the forthcoming thriller Don’t Worry Darling, directed by Olivia Wilde.
According to an email he sent to Variety, the actor said he left the project “due to lack of rehearsal time”. He also forwarded to Variety an email he had sent to Wilde in response to her comments about his behaviour on set.
Quoted in an earlier article in Variety, Wilde said that “[LaBeouf’s] 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. 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.”
LaBeouf was originally cast as the male lead opposite Florence Pugh in the psychological thriller about a married couple living in a town dominated by a sinister company. He left the role in August 2020 and was replaced by Styles. Later that year LaBeouf was sued by his former girlfriend FKA twigs for sexual battery, assault and infliction of emotional distress. LaBeouf’s attorney said in a court filing that the actor “denies generally and specifically each and every allegation” in the complaint.
Wilde added: “A lot came to light after this happened that really troubled me in terms of his behaviour … I knew that I was going to be asking [Pugh] to be in very vulnerable situations, and my priority was making her feel safe and making her feel supported.”
In his email to Variety, LaBeouf quotes a message he claims he sent to Wilde: “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.”
He adds: “Firing me never took place … 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.”
LaBeouf also included a series of texts and messages between himself and Wilde, which he says shows he left the film voluntarily.
Wilde’s representatives have been contacted for a response.