As Shia LaBeouf Tom Chiarella once wrote, a real man can own up to his mistakes. And though LaBeouf — whose gradual transformation into Adam from Girls seems nearly complete — hasn’t yet acknowledged that publishing private emails on Twitter probably isn’t the best idea, the actor can admit that he got straight-up fired from Broadway’s Orphans. The reason? He and ex-costar Alec Baldwin “had tension, as men. Not as artists — as men.”

As LaBeouf told David Letterman last night, “I’m pretty passionate and impulsive, and he’s a very passionate individual as well. And I think that impulsiveness and that passion make for some fireworks.” (Naturally, he didn’t cite The Office‘s Phyllis Lapin after making this observation.) That volatile combination led to LaBeouf’s exit from the show, a move originally credited to “creative differences.” “I think that’s what you’ve gotta say for a business-savvy answer for what actually happened,” LaBeouf explained. Yep, he’s nothing if not business-savvy.

All that being said, LaBeouf does seem genuinely proud of the show and especially of his replacement, Ben Foster. He assured Letterman that he attended Orphans‘s first preview purely “as a fan,” and noted more than once that he thinks Baldwin is “a good dude” and a great actor. Baldwin, for his part, didn’t mention LaBeouf while promoting Orphans on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last night — possibly because a man knows when to keep his mouth shut.

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