Olivia Wilde has responded to speculation over a rift between her and Don’t Worry Darling colleague Florence Pugh.
The latter leads the thriller, which is directed by and co-stars Wilde, that focuses on a young couple (played by Pugh and Harry Styles) in the 1950s whose happy marriage begins to unravel when she starts to become suspicious of a secret project he is working on.
However, reports have emerged in recent months of a falling out between Pugh and Wilde, something the latter has responded to in a new press conference – which Pugh was not in attendance at – ahead of the film’s premiere at the Venice International Film Festival.
“Florence is a force,” she said (via Variety). “We are so grateful she’s able to make it tonight [for the red carpet] despite being in production on Dune.
“I know, as a director, how disruptive it is to lose an actor even for a day, so I’m very grateful to her, and to [Dune director Denis Villeneuve] for helping us. And we’ll get to celebrate her work tonight. I can’t say how honoured I am to have her as our lead. She’s amazing.”
Wilde added: “As for all the endless tabloid gossip and all the noise out there, the Internet feeds itself. I don’t feel the need to contribute; I think it’s sufficiently well-nourished.”
According to Variety, the festival said that Pugh was filming in Budapest, Hungary for Dune, and her flight would only arrive after the conference, meaning she would not have time to speak to the media. However, photos did emerge of the actress at the festival within the hour.
During the conference, Wilde was also asked about Shia LaBeouf‘s allegation that he wasn’t fired from Don’t Worry Darling (his role was eventually taken over by Styles), despite suggestions from Wilde – however, the panel moderator reportedly effectively blocked the question.
In a recent interview with Variety, Wilde said that LaBeouf was fired from the film to create a “safe, trusting environment”, though the actor reportedly sent an email to the site afterwards claiming he “quit the film due to lack of rehearsal time”.
Variety was shown screenshots of text messages he reportedly sent to Wilde back in August 2020, saying he would have to leave the role.
LaBeouf and Wilde met in person in Los Angeles on August 16, 2020, according to the texts, to discuss his exit, Wilde writing: “Thanks for letting me in on your thought process. I know that isn’t fun. Doesn’t feel good to say no to someone, and I respect your honesty.” LaBeouf says he “officially” quit the film the next day.