The film's screenwriter, James Ivory, just revealed that Shia's audition took everyone by surprise — and he came pretty close to being cast alongside Timothée Chalamet.
James recounted the audition process in his new memoir, Solid Ivory, where he explained that he was hesitant at first about Shia's involvement with the film.
"Shia LaBeouf...had been contacted for the part of Oliver. At this, I was doubtful. I didn't know much about him, so I watched some of his films," James wrote, according to GQ.
He continuned, "He's an extremely good actor. But as an academic writing about the Greek philosopher Heraclitus, he would be a stretch...I thought, he would be a sort of diamond-in-the-rough-scholar type."
But when Shia flew out to read with Timothée, everyone was incredibly impressed by the duo's chemistry.
"Shia came to read for us in New York with Timothée Chalamet, paying for his own plane ticket, and Luca [Guadagnino] and I had been blown away. The reading by the two young actors had been sensational; they made a very convincing hot couple," James noted.
But unfortunately for Shia, his personal life got in the way, and the negative attention surrounding the actor convinced the filmmakers to go with Armie.
"Shia was dropped. He had had some bad publicity. He'd fought with his girlfriend; he'd fended off the police somewhere when they had tried to calm him down. And Luca would not call him, or his agent. I emailed Shia to offer reassurance, but then Luca cast Armie Hammer and never spoke to, or of, Shia again," James explained.
And while Shia's actions, including accusations of abuse from his ex-girlfriend FKA Twigs, garnered plenty of negative press, Armie ended up having a multitude of accusations against him as well.
If you or someone you know has experienced sexual assault, you can call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE, which routes the caller to their nearest sexual assault service provider. You can also search your local center here.
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