Olivia Wilde Claims She Fired Shia LaBeouf From ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ To ‘Protect’ Florence Pugh, But He Says He Quit

Don’t Worry Darling was originally supposed to star Florence Pugh and Shia LaBeouf, not Harry Styles. But director Olivia Wilde claims that the Honey Boy actor, who was accused of “relentless abuse” by his ex-girlfriend FKA twigs, was fired from the movie (and replaced with Harry Styles) to “protect” Pugh. “I say this as someone who is such an admirer of his work,” she explained. “His 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.”

LaBeouf responded to Wilde’s comments by saying he wasn’t fired from Don’t Worry Darling, he quit. “The actor forwarded two emails he claims to have sent to Wilde on Aug. 24 and Aug. 25 after the story was published,” Variety reports. “In the emails, LaBeouf wrote, ‘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.’ Variety has learned that the texts were sent before the production learned what Shia’s immersive method entailed.”

According to the texts, LaBeouf and Wilde met in person in Los Angeles to discuss his exit from the film on Aug. 16, 2020. Later that night, Wilde texted him, “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 supposedly quit the next day. Two days later, Wilde sent him a video, recorded in her car, in which she “alludes to tension between LaBeouf and Florence Pugh, who stars as Alice, the wife of LaBeouf and Styles’ character Jack,” according to Variety.

Variety also published an email that LaBeouf sent to Wilde, which ends, “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 negatively effects you, and that your film is successful in all the ways you want it to be.” You can read it here.

Don’t Worry Darling hits theaters on September 23, even if it feels like it’s already been out for years.

(Via Variety)