Was Shia LaBeouf Fired From Don't Worry Darling? Olivia Wilde And The Actor Have Very Different Stories

Shia Labeouf and Olivia Wilde side-by-side
(Image credit: Disney And Roadside Attractions.)

Earlier this week Olivia Wilde talked about all the ins and outs of creating Don’t Worry Darling, revealing that Shia LaBeouf was originally supposed to play the role that is now being played by pop superstar Harry Styles. Things didn’t work out between the two and LaBeouf was no longer part of the production as of August 2020. 

It's now coming out that the reasons behind why LaBeouf left Don’t Worry Darling are not so clear. While Wilde said she fired him, LaBeouf’s said he quit. Here is what the two sides have to say for themselves.

What Olivia Wilde Said About Shia LaBeouf’s Exit From Don't Worry Darling

In a profile with Variety, Wilde explained that she and Florence Pugh, who plays the main character in the film, were both excited about having Harry Styles on board. However, his touring schedule initially made it so he could not participate in the film. So, LaBeouf was hired. Wilde was a fan of his work, however, things were not working out. She said: 

I say this as someone who is such an admirer of his work. 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. I believe that creating a safe, trusting environment is the best way to get people to do their best work. Ultimately, my responsibility is to the production and to the cast to protect them. That was my job.

LaBeouf has been at the center of multiple controversies throughout the course of his career, from petty theft to abuse claims leveled at the actor. Not long after his departure from Don’t Worry Darling, his ex-girlfriend FKA Twigs sued him for sexual battery and he split with his agency CAA. He then entered an inpatient facility.

Wilde continued by saying she was “troubled” by what she learned about LaBeouf’s behavior after what happened with her film and she wished him “health and evolution.” Yet, she said her set needed to be supportive and safe, especially with the “vulnerable situations” Pugh was being put in.   

How Shia LaBeouf Recalls His Exit From The Now-Harry Styles Starrer

The Peanut Butter Falcon actor responded to Wilde not long after the profile was published saying he left the film because he didn’t feel the actors had enough time to rehearse. He even sent screenshots of texts he had sent Wilde in August of 2020 explaining that he was leaving the production. After the profile was published LaBeouf emailed Wilde. His take? 

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.

In the email sent to Variety, LaBeouf acknowledges that his “firing is attractive clickbait” because of his muddled reputation. He said what happened with his ex-girlfriend is “fundamental and real” but they are not part of this story. LaBeouf continued saying what Wilde said is not true, and it is making it harder for him to “crawl out of the hole” he had put himself in due to his erratic behavior in the past. 

Whether he quit or he was fired, Don’t Worry Darling did come together and has created lots of buzz since. Styles opened up about his relationship with Wilde earlier this week. Wilde was served custody papers during her presentation at CinemaCon from her ex Jason Sudeikis. There are also rumors going around about Pugh and Wilde feuding and Pugh making less than Styles

However, there is also lots of anticipation and excitement for Don’t Worry Darling. It will be interesting to see how this shakes out and if anything else comes to light before the movie’s release in September. Check out 2022 movie schedule for more information on the release. 

Riley Utley
Weekend Editor

Riley Utley is the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. She has written for national publications as well as daily and alt-weekly newspapers in Spokane, Washington, Syracuse, New York and Charleston, South Carolina. She graduated with her master’s degree in arts journalism and communications from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Since joining the CB team she has covered numerous TV shows and movies -- including her personal favorite shows Ted Lasso and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. She also has followed and consistently written about everything from Taylor Swift to Fire Country, and she's enjoyed every second of it.