Shia LaBeouf has come forward to say that Olivia Wilde didn’t fire him from her film Don’t Worry Darling; he quit. In an email to Variety, LaBeouf said he “quit the film due to lack of rehearsal time.” Contrary to the studio and Wilde’s narrative that LaBeouf was fired before he was replaced with Harry Styles, a source told Variety that it was more of a mutual breakup — due to LaBeouf’s method-acting style being a poor fit for the project. Which is to say that he was probably extremely annoying.
LaBeouf forwarded text messages, emails, and videos with Wilde to Variety to support his claim. Below is a brief timeline according to the Honey Boy himself. The story of this movie’s production might have more twists, turns, drama, and mystery than the film itself. We’re semi-worried, darling!
August 16, 2020: Wilde reportedly texts LaBeouf, “Thanks for letting me in on your thought process. I know that isn’t fun. 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.” LaBeouf says they met that day to discuss his exit.
August 17, 2020: LaBeouf says he sent an email “officially” quitting the film. We don’t know whether this was a “You can’t fire me — I quit!” situation.
August 19, 2020: Wilde sends LaBeouf a video message in which she says she’s “not ready to give up on this yet.” According to Variety, she said, “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?” We would love to know more about why exactly Florence “Miss Flo” Pugh needed a wake-up call.
Unknown date between August 16 and 20, 2020: Wilde allegedly texts 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.” It’s beginning to seem like this set was mutually annoying.
August 24, 2022: Time jump! Wilde tells Variety in a cover story 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.” Wilde says that after FKA twigs’s sexual-battery lawsuit in 2021, her priority was making Pugh feel safe.
August 24, 2022: LaBeouf sends an email to Wilde in response to the profile. Obtained by Variety, the email begins, “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,” and ends, “Every Blessing To You” — both of which seem influenced by LaBoeuf’s newfound Catholic faith inspired by his new film Padre Pio. Sandwiched between that sanctimony, LaBeouf says he is 627 days sober and writes, “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 refers to his ongoing lawsuit, saying, “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.” He adds, plainly (italicized even), “Firing me never took place, Olivia.”