Shia LaBeouf is an asshole. He’ll be the first to admit it. Like when he was working with Mia Wasikowska on the set of Lawless, he admitted being a belligerent ass towards her. “Mia was ready to walk away from the movie. I was really pretty aggressive about it, and not in any kind of weird, strange way, but I don’t think she had ever experienced anything like that.”
This was partly due to the fact that Shia likes to keep things method so he’d always show up drunk. “I did it for the movie. I didn’t drink off set for no reason. I did it because, when I showed up on set the next day, my f**king eyes looked like this and my face… had that drunk bloat that I needed, that I couldn’t have if that wasn’t going on. Moonshine is different than liquor. Moonshine is closer to heroin.”
Which is a good primer before talking about what happened when Shia LaBeouf withdrew from the Broadway play Orphans. Shia was supposed to be acting alongside Alec Baldwin but the old “creative differences” got in the way. Orphans director Daniell Sullivan grew concerned that the direction LaBeouf was going didn’t jibe with where he wanted it to go. He spoke to Shia and producers, but when nothing improved, they all decided to replace Shia.
On Wednesday morning, Shia tweeted an email he wrote and a few of the responses. It was so pretentious you just want to slap Shia in the face to remind him he was in Transformers. Three times. (Update: Shia plagiarized the letter from a Tom Chiarella essay in Esquire)
My dad was a drug dealer. He was a shit human. But he was a man. He taught me how to be a man. What I know of men, Alec is. A man is good at his job. Not his work, not his avocation, not his hobby. Not his career. His job. A man can look you up and down and figure some things out. Before you say a word, he makes you. From your suitcase, from your watch, from your posture. A man infers.
A man owns up. That’s why Mark McGwire is not a man. A man grasps his mistakes. He lays claim to who he is, and what he was, whether he likes them or not. Some mistakes, though, he lets pass if no one notices. Like dropping the steak in the dirt.
He does not rely on rationalizations or explanations. He doesn’t winnow, winnow, winnow until truths can be humbly categorized, or intellectualized, until behavior can be written off with an explanation. A man knows his tools and how to use them – just the ones he needs. Knows which saw is for what, how to find the stud. A man does not know everything. He doesn’t try. He likes what other men know. A man can tell you he was wrong. That he did wrong. That he planned to. He can tell you when he is lost. He can apologize, even if sometimes it’s just to put an end to the bickering. Alec, I’m sorry for my part of a dis-agreeable situation.
Daniel Sullivan responded, “I’m too old for disagreeable situations. You’re one hell of a great actor. Alec is who he is. You are who you are. You two are incompatible. I should have known it. This one will haunt me. You tried to warn me. You said you were a different breed. I didn’t get it.” Translation: what kind of hissy fit was that?
Shia posted up Alec Baldwin’s response too.
I’ve been through this before. It’s been a while. And perhaps some of the particulars are different. But it comes down to the fact that what we all do now is critical. Perhaps especially fro you. When the change comes, how do we handle it, whether it be good or bad? What do we learn? I don’t have an unkind word to say about you. You have my word. – AB
Acting is the difference between life and death! Gawd, actors are so dramatic. You’re reading lines off a script not performing brain surgery.
Below is Shia’s audition video he also posted. I wonder what 24-year-old Bradley Cooper would think about this.