Shia LaBeouf has been very candid about his firing from Orphans, and he even stopped by the Late Show with David Letterman to speak openly about his exit from the Broadway show. Though the creative folks behind the production would likely prefer to leave the exit drama well enough alone, the play's stars—Alec Baldwin, Ben Foster and Tom Sturridge—sat down for an interview with the New York Times to address how they recovered after LaBeouf's dismissal.
Baldwin said he "didn’t look at it as [his] job" to make things work with LaBeouf, adding that he "didn’t really care about" his former co-star’s "personal issues" at the beginning of rehearsals. LaBeouf reportedly blasted Baldwin for not learning the lines as quickly as he did. "I tend to panic at the onset of rehearsal—and then take a deep breath and tell yourself at the end...you will be O.K.," Baldwin said.
When asked what he thought of LaBeouf publishing personal emails from the Orphans cast and crew following his dismissal, Sturridge was less than impressed with LaBeouf's Twitter tirade. "I think what is so beautiful about the rehearsal process is that it's a safe place for an actor. It's a place where you can take risks, screw up, explore, and it's safe because it's private," he said. "I think it's not fair to make public or investigate what happened in the rehearsal room because that sets a precedent for people to talk about what goes on in rehearsal rooms."
Foster, who was initially up for the role of Treat in the drama before Baldwin and director Daniel Sullivan tapped LaBeouf, said he was never wary about joining the production. "I was crestfallen that it didn’t work out originally. Then I got a phone call saying, 'Are you still interested?'" Foster is also optimistic that the off-stage drama hasn't affected the show's deliberate commotion. "It’s still being massaged. What we all agree on is: The performances have to come from the heart."
Lyle Kessler's Orphans is the story of two orphaned brothers are living in a decrepit North Philadelphia row house. Treat, the eldest, (Foster), supports his damaged younger sibling Philip (Sturridge) by petty thievery, and makes the house a virtual prison for the seemingly simple-minded "dead end kid." One night, Treat kidnaps a rich older man, Harold (Baldwin), who turns out to have his own motives and becomes the father figure the boys have always yearned for.
Orphans opens at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre on April 18.