Pugh stars opposite Harry Styles in the Wilde-directed film as “a 1950s housewife living with her husband [Styles] in a utopian experimental community”. However, Styles’s character suspects that the company he works for, who are behind the community, may be hiding sinister designs.
In a new interview with Maggie Gyllenhaal for Interview magazine, Wilde called Pugh, “ferociously talented”.
“She was so dogged in her pursuit of the most authentic version of every moment,” Wilde continued.
“She also knew that my real goal was to create a love story that felt so sincere between her and Harry that people would be incapable of not falling for them as a couple.”
Back in August, Wilde said it was a “f***ing thrill” to watch Pugh work, however, Pugh – who is very active on social media – did not share or even like the post, and her overall lack of comment about the film has fans speculating about a feud between the actor and director.
Wilde, for her part, has insinuated that the feud is nothing but “invented clickbait”. Pugh has not commented on nor refuted the rumours.
Wilde’s press run for the movie has been mired by controversy for some time. The actor-director claimed she fired LaBeouf in 2020 in order to create a “safe, trusting environment” on set, saying that his acting process “was not conducive to the ethos” that she demands in her productions.
The controversial actor is currently awaiting trial after being sued by his former partner, the musician FKA twigs, for “relentless abuse” including allegations of sexual battery, assault, and infliction of emotional distress.
However, LaBeouf denied being fired and sent Variety a video he says he received from Wilde, which shows her asking him not to quit the project.
She seemed to allude to tension between LaBeouf and Pugh in the video, saying: “I think this might be a bit of a wake-up call for Miss Flo. If she really commits, if she really puts her mind and heart into it at this point and if you guys can make peace – and I respect your point of view, I respect hers – but if you guys can do it, what do you think? Is there hope?”
Elsewhere, Wilde was forced to deny rumours of a pay disparity between Pugh and Styles, with whom she entered into a relationship during the filming process.
Don’t Worry Darling is scheduled to reach cinemas on 23 September in the US and UK.