Back in August, Wilde told Variety she made the decision to fire LaBeouf from production, as “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,” she explained. “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.”
However, in emails sent to Variety on Thursday, LaBeouf refuted Wilde’s claims, instead saying he actually “quit the film due to lack of rehearsal time.”
The actor also provided Variety an email he sent to Wilde in response to her August story, which read, “You and I both know the reasons for my exit. I quit your film because your actors and I couldn’t find time to rehearse.”
“What inspired this email today is your latest Variety story,” LaBeouf wrote to Wilde. “I am greatly honored by your words on my work; thank you, that felt good to read. I am a little confused about the narrative that I was fired, however. You and I both know the reasons for my exit. I quit your film because your actors & I couldn’t find time to rehearse. I have included as a reminder the screenshots of our text exchange on that day, and my text to Tobey.”
Variety obtained the text messages LaBeouf mentions in the above email, which includes a video Wilde sent the actor days after he quit the film in August 2020.
“I feel like I’m not ready to give up on this yet, and I too am heartbroken and I want to figure this out,” Wilde said in the video, according to Variety. “You know, I think this might be a bit of a wake-up call for Miss Flo, and I want to know if you’re open to giving this a shot with me, with us. If she really commits, if she really puts her mind and heart into it at this point and if you guys can make peace — and I respect your point of view, I respect hers — but if you guys can do it, what do you think? Is there hope? Will you let me know?”
The news arrives alongside a new interview LaBeouf uploaded to YouTube on Thursday in which the actor spoke with Word on Fire Catholic Ministries’ Bishop Robert Barron. In the hour-long conversation, Shia opened up about preparing for his role as Saint Padre Pio in a new film directed by Abel Ferrara, revealing that he became drawn to spirituality as he battled suicidal thoughts.
“I had a gun on the table. I was outta here,” he shared. “I didn’t want to be alive anymore when all this happened. Shame like I had never experienced before — the kind of shame that you forget how to breathe. You don’t know where to go. You can’t go outside and get like a, a taco.”
He added, “I know now that God was using my ego to draw me to Him. Drawing me away from worldly desires. It was all happening simultaneously.”
Watch Shia LaBeouf’s full interview with Bishop Robert Barron below.