Shia LaBeouf got a final word in after “Don’t Worry Darling” director Olivia Wilde claimed that she fired him to protect lead actress Florence Pugh.
“It is what it is,” LaBeouf told The Hollywood Reporter. “Every blessing to her and her film.”
Wilde, 38, had again insisted that she chose to fire the 36-year-old actor, in an interview with Vanity Fair published on Thursday, citing his on set behavior and her responsibility to Pugh, 26, as reasons she let him go. Her statements come weeks after LaBeouf announced that he’d left the film on his own volition following disagreements with Wilde’s direction.
“My responsibility was towards [Florence],” Wilde told Vanity Fair. “I’m like a mother wolf. Making the call was tricky, but in a way he understood. I don’t think it would have been a process he enjoyed. He comes at his work with an intensity that can be combative.”
“It wasn’t the ethos that I demand in my productions,” she continued. “I want him to get well and to evolve because I think it’s a great loss to the film industry when someone that talented is unable to work.”
LaBeouf has a tarnished reputation in Hollywood, as he currently stands accused of sexual and emotional abuse by his ex-girlfriend, the British artist FKA Twigs.
The former child star has publicly refuted claims he was fired from the film, claiming he quit due to lack of rehearsal time with his co-stars, and called it “attractive clickbait” in leaked texts, emails and videos exchanged between himself and Wilde to prove his point.
“Firing me never took place, Olivia,” an email he sent to the director read. “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 also shared a video message apparently sent by Wilde, in which she appears to be trying to convince the actor back to the shoot.
“This issue is so much more nuanced than can be explained in private texts released out of context,” Wilde responded when asked about the leaked exchanges by the publication. “All I’ll say is he was replaced, and there was no going forward with him. I wish him the best in his recovery.”
LaBeouf was replaced by Harry Styles in the now notorious film in December 2020, with the “Booksmart” director calling reports of tension between her and Pugh as “baseless rumors.”
Sources alleged that Pugh was unhappy with Wilde because she was canoodling with Styles while still with “Ted Lasso” star Jason Sudeikis, the father of her two children.
Wilde declined to comment when a journalist asked her about the drama during a panel at the Venice International Film Festival premiere this week, from which Pugh was absent.
However, Wilde maintains there is no bad blood between the two women.
“It is very rare that people assume the best from women in power,” Wilde told the Vanity Fair. “I think they don’t often give us the benefit of the doubt. Florence did the job I hired her to do, and she did it exquisitely. She blew me away. Every day I was in awe of her, and we worked very well together.”