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Battle Of The Egos! Alec Baldwin & Shia LaBeouf's Bickering Forces One Out Of Broadway's Orphans


Feb. 21 2013, Published 12:00 p.m. ET

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Take two huge Hollywood egos, throw in a Broadway play and mix in show businesses' ever-present "creative differences" … then sit back and watch the sparks fly.

Shia LaBeouf parted ways with the production Orphans Wednesday, has learned, after producers said the 26-year-old A-lister, in what would have been his Broadway debut, had serious "creative differences" with his co-star in the play -- controversy magnet Alec Baldwin.

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Orphans producers issues a statement on Wednesday saying that “due to creative differences, the producers of Orphans and Shia LaBeouf will be parting ways and he will not be continuing with the production. An announcement on the replacement for Shia's role … will be made shortly.”

After leaving the production, LaBeouf shared his apologies — AND the subsequent responses from his colleagues — with all of Twitter.


While it seems everybody's trying to play nice and not burn any bridges, there was clearly white-hot tension down the Great White Way, as director Daniel Sullivan said pairing the "incompatible" mega-stars created a "disagreeable situation" it seems all parties are trying to move on from with grace (except for that whole posting it online, as Shia did after the fact).

The NY Post, quoting insiders, reported early Thursday that the Transformers star “was fired because he wasn’t good in the role,” and is using the personality clash with Baldwin as a smokescreen to save face. Noteworthy is that both Baldwin and LaBeouf each have well-chronicled histories of off-the-field incidents, sometimes landing them in legal hot water.

Without further adieu, here are the e-mails in the order they were sent, and we'll let you be the judge who came out on top in the star wars …

Shia LaBeouf: "My dad was a drug dealer. He was a s--t human. But he was a man. He taught me how to be a man. What I know of men, Alec is. A man is good at his job. Not his work, not his avocation, not his hobby. Not his career. His job. A man can look you up and down and figure some things out. Before you say a word, he makes you. From your suitcase, from your watch, from your posture. A man infers. A man owns up. That's why Mark McGwire is not a man. A man grasps his mistakes. He lays claim to who he is, and what he was, whether he likes them or not. Some mistakes, though, he lets pass if no one notices. Like dropping the steak in the dirt.

"He does not rely on rationalizations or explanations. He doesn't winnow, winnow, winnow until truths can be humbly categorized, or intellectualized, until behavior can be written off with an explanation. A man knows his tools and how to use them –- just the ones he needs. Knows which saw is for what, how to find the stud. A man does not know everything. He doesn't try. He likes what other men know. A man can tell you he was wrong. That he did wrong. That he planned to. He can tell you when he is lost. He can apologize, even if sometimes it's just to put an end to the bickering. Alec, I'm sorry for my part of a disagreeable situation."

Director Daniel Sullivan to LaBeouf: "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."

Alec Baldwin to LaBeouf: "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."

LaBeouf's response: "Same . . . good luck on the play. You'll be great."

Actor Tom Sturridge to LaBeouf: "Are you still here? I don't really know what to write. I went in this afternoon and they were all there . . . producers, etc. I said my piece but they didn't really listen. I don't understand what has happened here. Maybe you have had a more enlightening conversation with someone by now. All I can say is that it truly was an honour to work with you even if it was only for a few days. I was stunned by the work you were doing, the performance you were giving. I think you lifted the play to a place high than maybe it even deserved to be. I hope this isn't the last time we work together and I especially hope it isn't the last time we see each other. Hope you're ok brother."

Previews for Orphans begin March 19 at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theater, and the play officially opens April 7.



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