Shia LeBeouf tweets about backstage drama with Alec Baldwin

Alec Baldwin and Shia LaBeouf.
(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Mix two actors with reputations for passion and stormy personalities and it’s not surprising things did not turn out as planned for an upcoming Broadway production of “Orphans” that was to have starred Shia LeBeouf and Alec Baldwin.

LeBeouf quit the play on Wednesday citing “creative differences.” “Orphans,” by Lyle Kessler, is still scheduled to open on April 7, with previews starting on March 19.


After he withdrew from the play, LeBeouf used Twitter to post email exchanges that somewhat illuminate the differences.

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LeBeouf tweeted that “the theater belongs not to the great but to the brash.”

His emails to the play’s team, including Baldwin, had the tone of gentlemanly apology and showed no rancor.


In one tweet, LeBeouf quoted playwright David Mamet, saying that “acting has become a profession of the genteel class,” linking to a Wednesday email he’d received from Baldwin as well as his reply:


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 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.



And LeBeouf’s response:

be well.
good luck on the play.
you’ll be great.


In another tweet LeBeouf called “creative differences,” the young actor linked to an email he’d sent to the play’s team that appeared to be an apology for the situation.

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LeBeouf described at length what he said makes a man a man. Some excerpts:

My dad was a drug dealer. He was a ... human. But he was a man. He taught me how to be a man. What I know of men, Alec is ...


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 ...

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

Dan Sullivan, the play’s veteran Broadway director, responded to LeBeouf with his own email:


I’m too old for disagreeable situations. you’re one hell of an actor. Alex 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.


LeBeouf also posted what he said was his audition video for “Orphans.” The lengthy video picks up with the audition around the 20-minute mark.

Baldwin, who has used social media in the past to air personal beefs, remained quiet on his Twitter account as of Thursday morning.



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