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Alec Baldwin Calls Out Shia LaBeouf on His Comments About Theater Acting: “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”

Alec baldwin orphansAlec Baldwin is probably the best example of a celebrity I can think of who I think is insanely talented but I certainly wouldn’t want to be friends with.  But one thing I will always give Baldwin is that he isn’t afraid to speak his mind — even if what comes out isn’t always appropriate.

But I can’t fault him for going off on Shia LaBeouf‘s Twitter comment about theater acting, “The theater belongs not to the great but to the brash.”  The comment was made in the wake of his bizarre exit from his intended Broadway debut alongside Baldwin in Orphans.  Though in that behind-the-scenes exchange Baldwin wrote LaBeouf an e-mail saying, “I don’t have an unkind word to say about you. You have my word,” that “word” clearly doesn’t apply to what LaBeouf has to say about acting for the theater.

When asked about the comment by New York magazine, Baldwin responded:

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. 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. You know, it’s a really very, very long, slow, deliberate — it’s the opposite of film acting. It’s a much more intensive and kind of thoughtful process. And there are people who that’s just not their thing. So for those people who I think it’s not their thing, I’m not really interested in their opinion of it. But thanks.

Ultimately, Baldwin’s comments reflect that in his opinion LaBeouf — who has no theater experience — couldn’t hack it in rehearsals for Orphans, so the last thing he should be doing is talking about theater acting.  As I said above, I certainly can’t blame Baldwin for speaking out about LaBeouf’s comments based on that.  So… your move now, LaBeouf.

5 Comments

  1. Michael Daviot via Facebook

    March 5, 2013 at 3:15 pm

    Syntactic nightmare, but strangely eloquent.

  2. Ralf Jean-Pierre via Facebook

    March 6, 2013 at 1:09 am

    this is bullshit. Baldwin is a fucking bully.

  3. Daily Actor via Facebook

    March 6, 2013 at 6:57 am

    I don’t know if he’s a bully but he’s absolutely right.

  4. Ralf Jean-Pierre via Facebook

    March 6, 2013 at 11:12 am

    No man. He’s playing on Lebeouf’s ovious insecurity about not having done stage before to pick at his confidence. He sees an opening in Lebeouf’s confidence, and in the mass audience ignorance about acting, and he’s exploiting it. Sure,heater acting is different from film acting, but its not so profound that it can’t be learned. Why can’t we just admit that Shia is someone we love to hate right now and we just enjoy seeing him burn as squirm. We’re all all too eager to say “fuck that guy” and we’re HAPPY to see him fail. I’m not with it. This is all bullshit, and if we were in Lebeouf’s place, facing a savy, cunning, older and more experienced manipulator like Baldwin, in front of the press, we’d all be begging for mercy. But because it’s not us, and because Lebeouf is “rich and famous” he isn’t human and he deserves to get shit on. Are we forgetting these words are from the same guy who on record called his daughter a “disgusting pig” in an effort to shame her? We are way to eager and happy to see people crash and burn an fail, and get caught up in tawdry gossip. Lebeouf fucked up, but he is also a kid flailing about, trying to figure himself out, and hes getting pushed around instead of shown any compassion we’re laughing at him, even though we’d kill to be in his position. I’m not with it. It’s makes no sense to me that actors, people who’s job it is to empathize with all kinds of people, can have so little empathy.

  5. Chris McKittrick

    March 6, 2013 at 12:54 pm

    Ralf,
    I’m sort of intrigued at the armchair psychology you employ here, so I’ll bite.

    If LaBeouf was so insecure, he should have never attempted to start his stage career on Broadway. There is a reason why athletes don’t immediately start in the major leagues. Yes, theater acting can be learned, but a VERY expensive Broadway play is NOT the ideal place for learning when there is tremendous pressure and a lot at stake. Why not start learning theater acting on a much smaller scale with less pressure and a smaller spotlight? Of course, the blame there probably rests more on the producers who hired him and LaBeouf’s management, who advised him it would be a good idea to do it.

    But LaBeouf is no “kid.” He is a twenty-six year old who has been acting for over a decade and should know how to conduct himself even among difficult collaborators. Keep in mind that this mess became public because LaBeouf chose to post these e-mails in order to demonstrate… what exactly? That’s unprofessional, immature, and will likely do damage to his career.

    Call Baldwin what you will — and you’re probably not inaccurate in some aspect of your assessment of his character — but LaBeouf’s biggest enemy in this situation has been himself, not Baldwin. He’s making his own problems, which is probably why people have little empathy for him.

    Anyway, thanks for reading!

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