Tony Award winner Julie White is back on Broadway, giving a can’t-miss performance as action film star Masha in the Tony-winning comedy Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. In real life, White is quite familiar with what goes into an action blockbuster franchise, having appeared as Shia LaBeouf’s mother in three Transformers films. When Broadway.com caught up with White for a forthcoming Q&A, we asked about LaBeouf’s derailed Broadway debut in the short-lived spring 2013 revival of Orphans.
“I haven’t been in contact with him since the incident, and I tried to get in contact with him, but I have not had any success,” White said. “And I am really, really sorry that that didn’t work out, ‘cause I went and saw the play, and I thought Shia would have been wonderful in it. [Treat] would have been a great role for him.”
White even has a theory as to why things didn't work out between LaBeouf, co-star Alec Baldwin and director Dan Sullivan. “My experience with Shia is that he gives 110% on every take of the movie. So I think he came into rehearsal with all of that, and that’s not the process [in theater]. I’m sorry that happened to him, because I think he’s a really marvelous actor and I would love to have seen him do a play."
In fact, White is so gung-ho that LaBeouf try his hand on stage in the future that she even has a project in mind that they could co-star in, once again playing mother and son.
“I always wanted to do The Glass Menagerie with him. Yes, I know, Cherry [Jones] and Zach [Quinto] have dropped in there; it’s a different franchise—Star Trek got in," the witty actress joked. "But I do want to play [Amanda Wingfield] some time. Maybe I’ll get Shia to do it with me at Williamstown or something. We’ll give it a whirl, somewhere, if I could just get in touch with him. Shia, if you’re reading this, please get in touch—call your mother!”
For more with the hilarious and candid Julie White, check back on Broadway.com for the full interview on August 12.