Producers of the Broadway debut of Lyle Kessler’s “Orphans” announced yesterday that Shia LaBeouf had left the play “due to creative differences.” However, the actor released a series of email exchanges between himself and Alec Baldwin and director Daniel Sullivan that suggest his departure was due to a disagreement between him and Baldwin.
The emails were posted on LaBeouf’s Twitter page, and a message written to LaBeouf from Sullivan seems to spell out the situation: “I’m too old for disagreeable situations. you’re one hell of a great actor. Alec is who he is. you are who you are. you two are incompatible. I should have known it. this one will haunt me. you tried to warn me. you said you were a different breed. I didn’t get it. Dan”
Another email to LaBeouf is from “AB,” ostensibly Baldwin.
“SL I’ve been through this before. It’s been a while. And perhaps some of the particulars are different. But it comes down to the fact that what we all do now is critical. Perhaps especially for you. When the change comes, how do we handle it, whether it be good or bad? What do we learn? I don’t have an unkind word to say about you. You have my word. AB,” said the email.
LaBeouf responded, “same. be well. good luck on the play. you’ll be great.” He also wrote another email with the subject line “Apology,” that ends with the line, “Alec, I’m sorry for my part of a dis-agreeable situation.”
“Orphans would have been the Broadway debut for LaBeouf, and he would have played the role of Treat, the older of two orphaned brothers who kidnap a rich businessman (Baldwin). Tom Sturridge played the younger brother. A replacement for LaBeouf will be announced soon. The play is set to begin previews March 19 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, and will officially open April 7.