You might remember there had been a bit of a casting shake-up on Olivia Wilde’s sophomore directorial effort, “Don’t Worry Darling,” earlier this fall. Singer-turned-actor Harry Styles replaced Shia LaBeouf on the New Line Cinema period thriller just before filming started. Harry took over Shia’s role joining a cast that included Florence Pugh, Chris Pine, Dakota Johnson, Gemma Chan, Kiki Layne, Nick Kroll, Douglas Smith, Timothy Simons, Kate Berlant, and Wilde.
Variety is now giving a little insight into the reasoning for LaBeouf’s exit. Explained at first as “scheduling conflicts,” Variety reveals that Olivia reportedly fired LaBeouf ahead of filming when he didn’t gel with the cast and crew alongside his poor behavior. Details beyond that in the report are not mentioned, but we have to assume that Shia made enough people uncomfortable that he was removed from the production entirely. A Variety “insider” seems to point towards Olivia’s “zero asshole policy” which is maintained to keep a happy set.
This eye-opening tidbit about his bad professional behavior follows some serious public allegations recently brought forth by LaBeouf’s ex-girlfriend FKA Twigs in a lawsuit about the abuse she suffered at his hands during their relationship. The story only further highlights LaBeouf’s toxic behavior and bizarre antics on and off film sets. There are only so many chances actors can get before the public eventually turns them due to habitual bad behavior or studio executives want to avoid PR nightmares in waiting.
Shia also caught heat over the summer for what many saw as a “brownface” performance in David Ayer’s violent exploitation film “The Tax Collector,” where he played a sociopathic Mexican assassin (the FKA Twins New York Times piece also has alleged that LaBeouf killed stray dogs in order to get into character for his ‘Tax Collector’ role).
Johnny Depp is a recent example of an actor, whose messy personal life has directly impacted their professional career. Depp asked to leave “Fantastic Beasts 3” in the middle of production and recast with Mads Mikkelsen after Depp lost a bonkers libel lawsuit against The Sun.
Following 2019’s critically-acclaimed “Honeyboy,” Hollywood had signaled its renewed interest in LaBeouf. Variety reports there was initial interest on the part of Marvel Studios for an undisclosed role, but a meeting never took place and discussions never ensued.
It remains to be seen if Shia will attempt to genuinely repair the damage he’s done anytime soon or can even survive it, but he’s already managed to offend people like Steven Spielberg and Michael Bay; two heavyweight filmmakers that made his career early on, only to later find LaBeouf shitting on them and their work years later. (LaBeouf was bounced from the lucrative “Transformers” series because of this). Ironically, LaBeouf wrote and starred-in “Honeyboy,” a critically-acclaimed drama about the effects of toxic men and trauma, specifically his emotionally abusive father. “Honeyboy” may have deftly interrogated the subject, but it seems clear, LaBeouf has taken little heed of what he learned and explored in that movie in his personal life.