Shia LaBeouf Disputes Firing from Olivia Wilde's 'Don't Worry Darling': "I Quit Your Film"

The actor's latest role also inspired him to convert to Catholicism

Photo (right): DannyB Photos

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Aug 26, 2022

In April 2020, Shia LaBeouf was cast in Olivia Wilde's Don't Worry Darling, only to be replaced that September by Harry Styles amid reports of poor behaviour and clashes between cast and crew. Now, the actor claims he wasn't fired from Wilde's directorial follow-up to 2019's Booksmart, but rather quit of his own volition.

Writing to Variety, LaBeouf says he left Wilde's film because he didn't feel the actors were given enough time to rehearse. His claim follows a quote from Wilde in recent Variety cover story (August 24) in which she addresses the actor's departure publicly for the first time.

"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," Wilde said of LaBeouf. "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."

While LaBeouf's representatives declined Variety's request for comment when contacted prior to the cover story's publication, the actor then sent email messages to the publication yesterday (August 25) denying that he was fired. In the emails he claims to have sent to Wilde on Wednesday and Thursday [via Variety] LaBeouf writes, "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."

"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," LaBeouf's email reads in part. "So I am humbly asking, as a person with an eye toward making things right, that you correct the narrative as best you can. I hope none of this negatively effects [sic] you, and that your film is successful in all the ways you want it to be."

While LaBeouf will not appear in Don't Worry Darling, his latest project — portraying Catholic saint Padre Pio in an upcoming eponymous biopic from director Abel Ferrara — has reportedly led him to convert to Catholicism.

In a new interview with Bishop Robert Barron, LaBeouf recalled his time preparing for the role at a Capuchin monastery. "I started hearing experiences of other depraved people who had found their way in this, and it made me feel like I had permission," the actor said of the faith. "I know now that God was using my ego to draw me to Him. Drawing me away from worldly desires."

In early 2021, LaBeouf announced a hiatus from acting following serious abuse allegations from former partner and Honey Boy co-star FKA twigs. The assault case will go to trial next spring.

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