As the drama around the production of Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling continues to mount, actor Shia LaBeouf has come forward with his own version of events regarding his departure from the film’s lead role.
In an email sent to a variety of publications, including The A.V. Club, LaBeouf writes, “I was never fired from Don’t Worry Darling. I quit the film due to lack of rehearsal time. The narrative circulating is false and traducing.”
He then attaches many forms of correspondence purportedly between the two, including texts and videos. In a lengthy email to Wilde, dated August 24, LaBeouf writes to the director, “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. I quit your film because your actors & I couldn’t find time to rehearse.”
According to Variety, several sources at the studio affirmed LaBeouf was fired from the project back in 2020 (and was later replaced with Harry Styles). However, LaBeouf shares text messages purportedly sent between him and Wilde, which details a mutual understanding regarding the actor’s exit, with him initiating the exit.
“I think I have to back out of the show. I’m sorry,” LaBeouf tells Wilde on August 16, 2020. The two then met the next day to discuss LaBeouf’s immersive acting methods and his thought process behind leaving the project. LaBeouf claims he officially quit the project on August 17.
“Thanks for letting me in on your thought process. I know that isn’t fun,” Wilde texts him. “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.”
Two days later, Wilde apparently sent him a video saying she was “not ready to give up on this yet,” while alluding to on-set tension between him and fellow Don’t Worry Darling star, Florence Pugh.
“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 the final text shared, Wilde writes to 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.”
Here is the full email LaBeouf sent to Wilde this week:
I hope this finds you inspired, purposeful, fulfilled & well. I pray every night that you & your family have health, happiness, & everything God would give me. No joke, every night before I sleep.
I have a little girl, Isabel; she is five months old and just beginning to develop the last half of her laugh; it’s AMAZING. Mia, my wife & I have found each other again & are journeying toward a healthy family with love and mutual respect.
I have embarked on a journey that feels redemptive & righteous (dirty word but fitting). I write to you now with 627 days of sobriety and a moral compass that never existed before my great humbling that was the last year and a quarter of my life. I reached out to you a few months ago to make amends; & I still pray one day, you can find space in your heart to forgive me for the failed collaboration we shared.
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. 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. 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.
My failings with Twigs 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. 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.
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. I hope none of this negativly effects you, and that your film is succesful in all the ways you want it to be.
Every Blessing To You,