Actress/Director Olivia Wilde made some serious waves earlier this week after claiming that she fired Shia LaBeouf from the upcoming film Don’t Worry Darling in order to protect star Florence Pugh.
However, after that interview went viral, LaBeouf comes out to publicly dispute Wilde’s claims, and now a video has released allegedly showing Wilde personally pleading to the actor to stay on the project.
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Don’t Worry Darling is an upcoming psychological thriller from Warner Bros directed by Wilde and starring Florence Pugh as a housewife in the 1950s whose husband is a part of a secret government experiment.
In the film, the role of Pugh’s husband is played by Harry Styles, but in the initial stages of production, the role was originally played by The Peanut Butter Falcon star Shia LaBeouf.
Last Wednesday, Variety published an interview with Wilde wherein the director asserted that she had to fire LaBeouf due to his “creative process” of preparing for a role, as it “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,” she said. “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.”
She also claimed that his being sued by his ex-girlfriend FKA Twigs’ for physical, mental and emotional abuse experienced during their relationship played a part in his firing.
“A lot came to light after this happened that really troubled me, in terms of his behavior,” addressed Wilde of the allegations against the actor. “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.”
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After the interview was released, Shia LaBeouf pushed back in a big way against Wilde’s claims.
On August 26th, LaBeouf contacted Variety directly and, alongside a video in which the director can be supposedly be seen pleading with the actor to stay on the production, shared a number emails that he allegedly sent to Wilde which purported to show that he actually left the film over a “lack of rehearsal time.”
In an email written to Wilde and shared with the trade news outlet by the actor himself, LaBeouf asserted, “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,” he continued. “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,” he lamented. “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.”
Turning to is “failings with Twigs,” the actor admitted that while they “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,” he said. “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.”
Drawing his email to a close, LaBeouf reiterated, “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,” the actor concluded. “I hope none of this negatively effects you, and that your film is successful in all the ways you want it to be.
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In a further seeming blow to Wilde’s side of the story, shortly after Variety published their coverage of LaBeouf’s documents, the video plea leaked online.
Reportedly sent to LaBeouf on Aug. 19th 2020, the video allegedly sees Wilde behind the wheel of a car asking for the LaBeouf’s return to set, as she’s “not ready to give up on this yet.”
here is the video of olivia telling shia she wants to work it out and that if “miss flo” could “commit” more than it could happen.
please ignore that hashtag on the video I didn’t put it there. pic.twitter.com/vAQPBqPRYE
— sophia (@hellopugh) August 26, 2022
“I, too, am heartbroken and I want to figure this out,” Wilde says in the video, which was purportedly sent to LaBeouf two days after he claims to have quit the film. “You know, I think this might be a bit of a wake-up call for Miss Flo[rence Pugh], 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?,” the director ultimately asks. “Is there hope? Will you let me know?”
As of this writing, Wilde’s camp has refused to comments on Shia’s revelations.
Meanwhile, Pugh has announced that she will be limiting her promotional press appearances for the feminist thriller – an action which has fueled separate speculation that she and Wilde had a falling out over a love triangle involving the director, the actress, and Harry Styles, the former’s current beau and the latter’s Don’t Worry Darling co-star.
Styles’ relationship with Wilde is also rumored to have caused the actress’ former beau, actor and comedian Jason Sudeikis, to split – a decision which was made official back in April when the Madame Web director was served custody papers while on stage at CinemaCon promoting Don’t Worry Darling.
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