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Alec Baldwin Implies Shia LaBeouf Isn’t Cut Out for Broadway Acting

1362590587_alec baldwin shia lebeouf article
Alec Baldwin and Shia LaBeouf

Alec Baldwin is still miffed about Shia LaBeouf's abrupt exit from the Broadway play Orphans. The former costars have been in a war of words since late last month, with LaBeouf releasing private e-mails between the cast and crew via his Twitter account.

LaBeouf alluded to his former costar's hotheaded nature in a Feb. 21. tweet. "The theater belongs not to the great but to the brash. Acting is not for gentlemen or bureaucratic-academics," the 26-year-old wrote. "What they do is antiart."

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At the Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Awards in New York City March 4, Baldwin was asked to address LaBeouf's recent tweet. "I can tell you that, in all honesty, I don't think he's in a good position to be giving interpretations of what the theater is and what the theater isn't," the 54-year-old told Vulture.

Baldwin continued, "I mean, he was never in the theater. He came into a rehearsal room for six or seven days and, uh — you know, sometimes film actors — I mean, there are people who are film actors who have a great legacy in the theater. Some of the greatest movie stars had really serious theater careers and still do. And many film actors, though, who are purely film actors, they're kind of like celebrity chefs, you know what I mean? You hand them the ingredients, and they whip it up, and they cook it, and they put it on a plate, and they want a round of applause. In the theater, we don't just cook the food and serve it. You go out in the garden and you plant the seeds and you grow it."

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The 30 Rock alum added that performing for a live audience is "the opposite of film acting" and said it requires "very, very long" hours.

"It's a much more intensive and kind of thoughtful process. And there are people, who, that's just not their thing," Baldwin concluded. "So for those people who I think it's not their thing, I'm not really interested in their opinion of it. But thanks."

LaBeouf responded March 6 by sharing two screenshots of an e-mail exchange with Baldwin with his Twitter followers. In a Feb. 10 e-mail, Baldwin reportedly wrote that he was "so f-cking tired," to which LaBeouf replied, "I'm a hustler, I don't get tired. I'm 26, chief."

Director Daniel Sullivan, who was also involved in the e-mail exchange, wrote about their rehearsal Feb. 12. "I thought it was a very good first day," he reportedly wrote. "Even if Alec never looked up. Tomorrow we'll read through each scene in the first act. Stop after each scene, talk about it, read it again."

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Two days prior, Sullivan warned LaBeouf that Baldwin might be on edge. "Don't be too surprised if Alec doesn't look up from his script much for the first few days," the director wrote. "I suspect he's not nearly as prepared as you are. Not unusual at all when actors have a good long rehearsal time like we have. I just don't want it to throw you."

In LaBeouf's original e-mails, he plagiarized writer Tom Chiarella's "What Is a Man?" essay, which was featured in Esquire's "How to Be a Man" issue in 2009. After he dropped out of the Broadway show, he was replaced by actor Ben Foster. "Ben Foster is a beast," LaBeouf tweeted after hearing the casting news. "He will kill it."

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