Olivia Wilde broke her silence over rumours she is feuding with Don’t Worry Darling star Florence Pugh, after the actress pulled out of the film’s press conference at the Venice Film Festival on Monday.
Director of the film Wilde, 38, addressed the speculation of a rift between herself and Pugh after she was heard in a video leaked by Shia LaBeouf, who was originally cast in Styles’ part, that the actress needs a “wake-up call”.
A report from Page Six in July also claimed Pugh was upset with Wilde for getting with Styles during the film’s production while still married to her ex Jason Sudeikis.
Wilde called Pugh a “force” as she acknowledged the gossip surrounding her relationship with the star at the Don’t Worry Darling press conference, which the actress did not attend due to Dune 2 filming commitments.
But Pugh was spotted in Venice mere minutes after the press conference wrapped.
When asked by a journalist to “clear the air” over rumours, Wilde responded: “Florence is a force and we are so grateful that she is able to make it tonight 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 Denis Villeneuve for helping us – we’re really thrilled we’ll get to celebrate her work tonight.”
Wilde went on to praise Pugh, saying: “I can’t say enough how honoured I am to have her as our lead.
“She’s amazing in the film and as for all the endless tabloid gossip and all the noise out there, I mean, the internet feeds itself. I don’t feel the need to contribute, I think it’s sufficiently well nourished.”
Don’t Worry Darling has triggered controversial press after Wilde in a Variety interview insinuated that LaBeouf was fired from his role and replaced by her boyfriend Styles, to create a “safe, trusting environment” for Pugh and the other cast.
Following the interview, LaBeouf produced alleged evidence against these claims, which included an email exchange and video featuring Wilde, verifying that he had walked away from the film instead.
Wilde was also asked about her public falling out with LaBeouf at the press conference by UK correspondent to The Hollywood Reporter Alex Ritman, who tweeted that the director refused to answer the question.