Turns out that there’s a second act to Shia LaBeouf’s abrupt departure from the Broadway show Orphans — and it’s playing out on Twitter.
Yesterday, producers announced that LaBeouf was leaving the play due to “creative differences.” According to the Transformers star, though, that was far from the whole story. Last night, he took to his Twitter page to prove what “creative differences” really means.
LaBeouf posted a revealing email exchange with Orphans director Daniel Sullivan that makes it seem as though a conflict with co-star Alec Baldwin was the true engine behind the younger actor’s departure. In the first message, LaBeouf — an apparent Esquire subscriber — describes what it means to be a man (“A man owns up…He can apologize, even if sometimes it’s just to put an end to the bickering”), then apologizes to Baldwin “for my part of a dis-agreeable situation.”
In response, Sullivan tells LaBeouf, “I’m too old for disagreeable situations.” (The theater veteran is 72.) “You’re one hell of a great actor,” he continues. “Alec is who he is. You are who you are. You two are incompatible. I should have known it. This one will haunt me.”
LaBeouf then tweeted a screenshot of another email exchange, this time with Baldwin. He accompanied the photo with a quote from playwright David Mamet: “Acting has become a profession of the genteel class.” In this exchange, Baldwin tells LaBeouf that he’s “been through this before” and promises that he “[doesn’t] have an unkind word to say about you. You have my word.” In response, LaBeouf wishes Baldwin well.
He followed this up with one last email screenshot, this time of a message from his second ex-co-star, British actor Tom Sturridge. In the email, Sturridge expresses his sympathies to LaBeouf (“I don’t understand what has happened here”) and praises his performance in rehearsals, saying that the actor “lifted the play to a place higher than maybe it ever deserved to be.”
Representatives for LaBeouf, Sturridge, and Orphans itself have not yet responded to EW’s requests for comment on the emails. A representative for Baldwin declined comment and referred EW to the producers of the show.
In any case, the story LaBeouf is telling on Twitter may have a happy ending — this morning, the actor posted yet another screenshot, this time of an email from Orphans fight director Rick Sordelet. Sordelet, who also lectures at Yale University, praises LaBeouf’s acting talents in the note and tells him that the head of the Yale School of Drama’s acting department “would love to talk to you about the MFA program.” Hey, if classes in New Haven are good enough for James Franco…