Erika Rivera Staff Writer
On February 20, Shia LaBeouf departed the forthcoming Broadway revival of Lyle Kesser’s drama Orphans, citing “creative differences”. Apparently, he will not be going quietly into that good night for a series of emails to and from his former co-stars Alec Baldwin and Tom Sturridge and director Daniel Sullivan are being made public by LaBeouf, stirring up more drama.
Trouble was first sighted on February 18 when LaBeouf tweeted that he had “put my hand thru the door at rehearsals. Then apologized to our playwright – this was his response. Lesson? PACE”. Shortly after, LaBeouf was out due to backstage disagreements and an apparent lack of compatibility with the play’s star, Alec Baldwin.
Shortly after his departure, LaBeouf published emails from Baldwin, Sturridge, and Sullivan, shedding a bit a light on the whole backstage drama. In an e-mail from Sullivan to LaBeouf on Tuesday night, Sullivan writes: “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,” Sullivan continues. “You tried to warn me. You said you were a different breed. I didn’t get it.”
As for Baldwin, in an e-mail exchange on Wednesday after LaBeouf’s departure, Baldwin told him, “I’ve been through this before” and told the younger actor 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,” writes Baldwin. LaBeouf responded with “Same. Be well. Good luck on the play. You’ll be great.”
Baldwin has spoken out about LaBeouf’s publishing of the emails with “Regarding of what people feel about the events that happened, you expect communications to be private, because everyone wants this process to be as collegial as possible. Everyone is very sad about what’s happened.”
Tom Sturridge, another costar, in an email to LaBeouf, complimented the actor and said “I think you lifted the play to a place higher than maybe it even deserved to be.”
As for LaBeouf’s replacement, it was announced Thursday that actor Ben Foster, who had previously auditioned for the role, will be joining the cast. Foster is best known for his role as a cold-blooded killer in “3:10 to Yuma”. He will start rehearsals on Friday. Orphans is scheduled to begin previews at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater on March 19 and open on April 7.
What do you all make of this Broadway drama? Will you be checking out Orphans on the Great White Way?