Ben Foster, a very talented actor, has replaced Shia LaBeouf in the Broadway production of “Orphans.” La Beouf dropped out of the produciton after locking horns with co-star Alec Baldwin and director Daniel Sullivan. Tom Sturridge is third actor in the revival of Lyle Kessler’s play about two brothers (Baldwin, Sturridge) who run afoul of Foster.
LaBeouf, a volatile character on a good day, was a bad mix with the equally volatile Baldwin. There’s been a lot of Tweeting and posting among all these guys. But basically Sullivan acknowledged that he’d made a mistake putting Alec and Shia together.
This isn’t the first time Alec has not played well with others backstage. A few years ago, Baldwin forced the lovely Broadway star Jan Maxwell out of the 2006y production of “Entertaining Mr. Sloane.” Maxwell, a Broadway favorite, couldn’t put up with Baldwin’s backstage histrionics. The New York Times reported that Baldwin punched a hole in a wall when an airconditioner malfunctioned.
LaBeouf has had his own anger and misbehavior problems. But Baldwin is notable for having public fights with photographers and reporters, and his own daughter.
Foster is a pretty level headed guy with a great resume. Most recently he’s starred in films like “The Messenger” and “X Men.” He’s also done a lot of producing and works with director Oren Moverman. Ben got his start years ago in Barry Levinson’s “Liberty Heights.” I can’t wait to see him on stage. Let’s hope this pairing works out.