Olivia Wilde has hit back at reports of a feud with her ‘sensational’ Don’t Worry Darling leading actress Florence Pugh.
The director, 38, addressed the pair’s widely-rumoured falling out on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Wednesday, insisting she has ‘nothing but respect’ for Florence, 26, despite by being plagued by claims to the contrary.
Olivia gushed about Florence’s performance in the controversial movie, and suggested being questioned about the feud is sexist because it’s not something her ‘male director colleagues are answering’.
The actress also doubled down on claims she fired former leading actor Shia LaBeouf, 36, insisting he issued her an ‘ultimatum’ of choosing between him and Florence: ‘I chose Florence.’
Shutting down: Olivia Wilde has hit back at reports of a feud with her ‘sensational’ Don’t Worry Darling leading actress Florence Pugh
When asked by Stephen if she was ‘feuding’ with Florence, Olivia shut down rumours of tension between the pair as she gushed over the star’s ‘sensational’ performance in the film.
Director Olivia, who is dating lead star Harry, has been at the centre of speculation about a reported on-set rift with Florence, with original co-star Shia also adding to the drama.
But the Booksmart director has now described Florence as a ‘super hero’ and insisted she has ‘nothing against her for any reason’ as she doubled down on her denial of any feud.
‘She is sensational in this film. And it is about her being brave enough to listen to the brave people who’ve come before her who everyone else has ignored and trust her instincts,’ Olivia said.
Leading lady: Olivia gushed about Florence’s performance in Don’t Worry Darling, and suggested being questioned about the feud is sexist
‘And she is the one brave enough to dismantle the system. She is a super hero. And Florence Pugh is as good at dramatic work as she is at action. There are real action sequences sequences in the film. She has a run which I refer to as her ‘Tom Cruise run.’ It’s the most impressive run I’ve ever seen,’ she added.
Seeming to address claims that Florence had scheduling conflicts for a press conference at Venice Film Festival, Olivia said there is ‘nothing cooler than a busy actress’.
‘I have nothing but respect for Florence’s talent. She’s fantastic. She’s on the set of her movie Dune right now. There’s nothing cooler than a busy actress. I have nothing against her for any reason,’ Olivia said.
Florence skipped a press conference for the film because her flight allegedly would land too late for her to get there, though she was seen in Venice nearby enjoying an Aperol spritz while it was taking place.
Rumors: The director, 38, addressed the pair’s widely-rumoured falling out on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Wednesday, insisting she has ‘nothing but respect’ for Florence, 26
Feud? The actress also doubled down on claims she fired former leading actor Shia LaBeouf, 36, insisting he issued her an ‘ultimatum’
Commenting on a video of Florence enjoying her cocktail at the time, Stephen said: ‘People pointed out that she was having an Aperol spritz during the press conference and didn’t show up for it.’
To which Olivia cryptically replied: ‘They did point that out.’
She went on to imply that questions about the feud are sexist as she claimed her male director colleagues are not answering queries about their relationships with cast members.
‘I think what’s funny is like, I don’t feel like my male director colleagues are answering questions about their cast,’ Olivia said to applause from the studio audience at the Ed Sullivan Theater in New York City.
Rumored conflict: Director Olivia, who is dating lead star Harry, has been at the centre of speculation about a reported on-set rift with Florence (both pictured in the movie)
‘These are not questions to give a director. They should be talking about the movie itself,’ Stephen added, while admitting that he was giving into the appetite by asking her about the rumors.
Olivia reportedly came into conflict with Florence during filming, as the Black Widow star was said to be unhappy over allegations that Olivia ‘hooked up’ with Harry while engaged to Jason Sudeikis.
Olivia, 38, and Jason, 46, got engaged in 2012 and share children Otis, eight, and Daisy, five. They were thought to have split in November 2020 and Olivia made headlines with Harry in January 2021.
While it’s never been confirmed that Olivia and Harry’s romance began while she was still engaged to Jason, Page Six reported that Florence fell out with Olivia over the coupling.
Absent: Florence skipped a press conference for Don’t Worry Darling because her flight allegedly would land too late for her to get there, but she was seen at the premiere for the film
Iconic: But Florence was seen in Venice nearby enjoying an Aperol spritz while the press conference was taking place
Then in the lead-up to the film’s release, Florence did little-to-no promotion for the movie and was seen enjoying a cocktail nearby in Venice as she skipped a press conference for Don’t Worry Darling.
The rumours intensified after Olivia suggested Florence should have a ‘wake-up call’ in a leaked video, shared by Shia as he refuted Wilde’s claim that he had been fired.
Shia was originally set to star in Don’t Worry Darling before Olivia replaced him with Harry, with Olivia claiming Shia’s process was ‘not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions’.
But in response, Shia – who claims he quit ‘due to lack of rehearsal time’ – shared an an email he sent to the director and a video that she allegedly sent to him, proving he walked away from the film rather than being fired.
High praise: Commenting on fans pointing out that Florence was enjoying a cocktail at the time, Olivia cryptically replied: ‘They did point that out’
In the footage, Olivia can be heard encouraging Shia to stay signed on to the film, rather than leave it, while also hinting at apparent tension with Pugh, 26, who she referred to as ‘Miss Flo’.
In the clip, she said: ‘I feel like I’m not ready to give up on this yet, and I, too, am heartbroken and I want to figure this out.
‘You know, I think this might be a bit of a wake-up call for Miss Flo, and I want to know if you’re open to giving this a shot with me, with us.
‘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? Will you let me know?’
Group line-up: The cast were all seen attending the premiere at Venice Film Festival amid the drama. Pictured: Nick Kroll, Florence Pugh, Chris Pine, Olivia Wilde, Sydney Chandler, Harry Styles and Gemma Chan
Total transparency: Olivia also cleared the air about her one-time Don’t Worry Darling co-star Shia LaBeouf, 36, who she claimed was let go from the film, though the actor claims he quit
But speaking to Stephen, Olivia doubled down on her claims that she fired Shia, insisting that she ‘chose Florence’ after she claimed Shia had issued her with an ultimatum.
When asked if she fired Shia, Olivia said: ‘We had to replace Shia. He is a fantastic actor, but it wasn’t gonna work. When he gave me the ultimatum of, you know, him or Florence, I chose Florence.’
‘That was him feeling he was stepping away and me feeling like we were moving on without him,’ she added.
Claims: Shia was set to star in Don’t Worry Darling before Olivia replaced him with Harry, claiming Shia’s process was ‘not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions’
Addressing the conflicting accounts of Olivia claiming Shia was fired and the actor saying he quit, Stephen asked if he left in such a way that they could both believe they were correct in their stances.
To which, Olivia said: ‘It’s a question of semantics. It wasn’t going to move forward in a way he wanted it to, so he had to leave.’
Elsewhere in the interview, Olivia also addressed ‘another weird rumour’ surrounding Harry Styles seemingly spitting on co-star Chris Pine at the Venice Film Festival.
Fans claimed that footage showed Harry allegedly appearing to gob in the actor’s lap, with Chris seeming to stop his his tracks, look down at his leg, and stick out his tongue in disbelief.
Conflicting: But Shia – who claims he quit ‘ – shared an an email he sent to the director and a video she allegedly sent to him, proving he walked away from the film rather than being fired
The laughing actor, 42, shot an amused look back at the pop star, with fans speculating afterwards that Harry had spit on Chris’ lap.
But it has been denied that any spitting took place, with a source close to Chris Pine telling MailOnline: ‘Harry Styles did not spit at all. People are seeing some odd illusion of sorts online that is clearly deceiving.’
And Olivia also shut down rumours of any spitting occurring, insisting that people are trying to ‘look for drama’.
Stephen asked her: ‘Did Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine? Why or why not? Support your answer.’
Film: Harry and Florence play a married couple in Don’t Worry Darling, which tells the story of a 1950s housewife living with her husband in a utopian experimental community
Role: Olivia, who directed the controversial movie, also appears in the film as a character called Bunny, who is friends with Florence’s character Alice
To which a laughing Olivia said: ‘He did not, but I think it’s a perfect example of people will look for drama anywhere they can.’
She definitively added, ‘Harry did not spit on Chris, in fact,’ while Stephen joked, ‘Only time will tell’.
‘No, he really didn’t!’ Olivia said with a laugh.
She said the video was an example of people seeing what they want to see and described it as ‘clickbait’.
Oh dear: Despite all the hype surrounding Don’t Worry Darling, it currently has a dismal 34 per cent critic approval rating (out of 64 reviews) on Rotten Tomatoes
Harry and Florence play a married couple in Don’t Worry Darling, which tells the story of a 1950s housewife living with her husband in a utopian experimental community. Olivia appears as a character called Bunny.
The pair play Jack and Alice Chambers, who seem to be the perfect couple, until she starts discovering things about their secretive community.
Despite all the hype surrounding Don’t Worry Darling, it currently has a dismal 34 per cent critic approval rating (out of 64 reviews) on Rotten Tomatoes.
Don’t Worry Darling, which Olivia directed from a script by her Booksmart co-writer Katie Silberman with Carey Van Dyke and Shane Van Dyke, hits theaters on September 23.
Coming soon: Don’t Worry Darling is scheduled for release in US theaters on Friday
Source: | Dailymail.co.uk