Olivia Wilde clears up ‘baseless’ rumours of rivalry with Don’t Worry Darling star Florence Pugh

’We worked very well together,’ director said amid intense speculation of rivalry

Jacob Stolworthy
Thursday 08 September 2022 14:31 BST
Don't Worry Darling trailer

Olivia Wilde has hit out at the “internet bullying” she’s received amid the Don’t Worry Darling drama.

Wilde directs and appears in the psychological thriller, which stars Florence Pugh and Harry Styles and had been plagued with rumours of on-set feuds and disputes surrounding the treatment of its lead stars.

The media frenzy surrounding the film hit a new peak as the film premiered at Venice Film Festival on Monday (5 September).

Many have theorised that Wilde and Piugh are feuding for several reasons. The first reason is due to the belief that Wilde encouraged original star Shia LaBeouf to remain on the project despite Pugh not being comfortable with his presence.

LaBeouf made this claim after Wilde told Variety that that she had, in fact, fired him in order to create a “safe, trusting environment” on set, stating that his acting process “was not conducive to the ethos” that she demands in her productions.

LaBeouf shared details of a leaked video message from Wilde, which he claims disputed this, but Vanity Fair is reporting that the video was sent before Pugh had expressed her doubts about LaBeouf as a co-star.

Another rumour claimed that Wilde became so infatuated with Styles, whom she now dates, that she left Pugh to fend for herself on set. Thoughout the day of the film’s Venice premiere, internet sleuths watched Wilde and Pugh’s every move to see if they interacted with one another.

Wilde has now spoken out against the “baseless rumours” surrounding the film, telling Vanity Fair: “No amount of internet bullying can cause me to question my belief in a movie made collectively by so many brilliant people.

“We worked too hard, and went through too much together, to be derailed by something that really has nothing to do with filmmaking.”

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Olivia Wilde at the ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ premiere
Olivia Wilde at the ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ premiere (Getty Images)

Of the latter rumour, Wilde said: “It is very rare that people assume the best from women in power. I think they don’t often give us the benefit of the doubt. Florence did the job I hired her to do, and she did it exquisitely. She blew me away. Every day I was in awe of her, and we worked very well together.”

She continued: “It is ironic that now, with my second film – which is again about the incredible power of women, what we’re capable of when we unite, and how easy it is to strip a woman of power by using other women to judge and shame them – we’re talking about this.”

She previously praised her co-star at a press conference for the film, which Pugh reportedly skipped due to filming commitments.

Don’t Worry Darling is released in cinemas on 23 September. Read The Independent’s review here.

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