Why Did Shia LaBeouf Really Quit Broadway?

We mine clues from the actor's Twitter feed to decipher the "creative differences" between him and co-star Alec Baldwin

Shia LaBeouf has made a very dramatic exit from the Broadway stage. The Transformers actor, set to make his Broadway debut on April 7 in the play Orphans, abruptly quit the show during its rehearsal period. Producers cited "creative differences." But LaBeouf's Twitter account tells another story.

For the past 24 hours, the actor has been posting random musings and private email exchanges about the situation. It's obvious that something went down. The two predominant theories floating around are, 1) Shia was fired because he was terrible in the play, and 2) Shia left because he locked horns with co-star Alec Baldwin, and the producers sided with Alec. LaBeouf's Twitter posts only deepen the mystery. So we studied LaBeouf's tweets for some clues, and developed a few theories of our own.

Shia quit because Alec threw his steak in the dirt. LaBeouf posted an email sent from himself to Baldwin and the production team, in which he describes what a "real man" is. Mostly cribbed from an Esquire article, the missive contains the line "A real man grasps his mistakes. ... Some mistakes, though, he lets pass if no one notices. Like dropping the steak in the dirt." It's not clear if he's saying that Baldwin isn't a "real man," or that he isn't, or that Baldwin accused him of not being one ... whatever. The point is, Shia's last name is "LaBeouf." That literally means "the beef" in French. So if you're going to throw Shia's steak in the dirt, you might as well throw him in the dirt. How dare Alec Baldwin besmirch his honor like that?

Shia quit because he is not actually human. In the director's response to LaBeouf's resignation, he wrote, "This one will haunt me. You tried to warn me. You said you were a different breed. I didn't get it." It must have been a pretty serious "creative difference" if it came with a warning about being a "different breed." Is LaBeouf a werewolf? Maybe a vampire? Did working with Michael Bay turn him radioactive?

Shia was fired for breaking stuff. Before he left the show, Shia tweeted that he'd "put his hand thru the door at rehearsals," and apologized to the playwright for being "a child." Maybe LaBeouf is going through his terrible two's a little bit late, because it seems that the person he impressed most on set was fight director Rick Sordelet. "It must have been difficult for others in the room to be school by someone whose raw talent and enthusiasm outmatched theirs," Sordelet wrote in an email that LaBeouf shared. By "raw talent," we're guessing he meant "punching lots of holes in the set."

Whatever happened, it's in the past; LaBeouf has been replaced in the show by actor Ben Foster, about whom he tweeted, "BEN FOSTER IS A BEAST. HE WILL KILL IT." And just in case Broadway audiences want to see what they'll be missing, LaBeouf has also posted his audition tape.

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