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Venice: Olivia Wilde Declines to Address “Noise” About Florence Pugh in ‘Don’t Worry Darling,’ Festival Shuts Down Question About Shia LaBeouf



Olivia Wilde did her best to dodge questions about the scandals that have hit her feature Don’t Worry Darling during a Venice Film Festival press event on Monday.

Speaking at the press conference for Warner Bros. Discovery’s psychological thriller ahead of its world premiere in Venice, Wilde — appearing alongside her star (and rumored partner) Harry Styles, she said: “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,” she added. “I think it’s sufficiently well nourished.”

It had already been revealed that Florence Pugh, the film’s lead, would not be attending the media meet, with her flight only landing later in the day in time for the red carpet and premiere screening on the Lido.

Wilde’s sophomore feature following her directorial debut Booksmart, Don’t Worry Darling sees Pugh and Styles play an idyllic couple living in 1950s America in an experimental cult-like community. Gemma Chan, Kiki Layne, Nick Kroll and Chris Pine — alongside Wilde herself — also star.

Don’t Worry Darling had come into the festival with more baggage than most other films in the lineup, baggage that had amassed just weeks earlier. Rumors originally emerged that Wilde and Pugh had fallen out after Wilde had stated a romantic relationship with Style during the shoot. A few days later, the rumors grew to suggest that Pugh had actually been paid less than a third of what her male co-star made for the film ($700,000 to Styles’ $2.5 million salary, reportedly). In a subsequent interview, Wilde said there was absolutely no truth to the claims of the pay gap, but she also alluded to the fact she had fired Shia LaBeouf (whose role went to Styles), saying that she did so over his “combative energy. ” and to keep Pugh “safe.” In what became a very public online drama, LaBeouf then hit back, asserting in an email two days later that he actually “quit” the movie, while a leaked 2020 video showed Wilde seemingly pleading with him to change his mind while also appearing to blame. Pugh for having issues with the actor.

Wilde praised her Pugh as “a force,” while suggesting that her lack of attendance at the press conference was simply due to her currently being in production on Dune: Part 2.

“I’m so grateful that she’s able to make it tonight despite being in production on Dune,” Wilde said. “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 grateful to Denis Villeneuve for helping us. And we’re really thrilled we’ll get to celebrate her work tonight. I can’t say enough how honored I am to have her as our lead. She’s amazing in the film.”

Later in the press conference, The News84Media attempted to ask Wilde about the controversy involving LaBeouf, but the Venice moderator shut down the discussion by saying that the director had already addressed the issue in her reference to the “internet noise.”

Following its bow in Venice, Don’t Worry Darling will screen at the Deauville American Film Festival and the San Sebastian International Film Festival before its theatrical release on Sept. 23.

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