Olivia Wilde Dismisses Reports of ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Feud

Olivia Wilde Dismisses Reports of ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Feud

Despite reports of a feud involving director Olivia Wilde and actor Florence Pugh, their joint appearance on the red carpet at the Venice Film Festival on Monday seemed to be signaling “Don’t Worry Darling.” They were accompanied by co-star Harry Styles, whose alleged affair with Pugh reportedly earned the disapproval of Wilde during shooting of the Warner Bros/New Line film this summer.

At a press conference, Wilde dismissed questions about the feud, saying “The Internet feeds itself. I don’t feel I need to contribute.

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She praised Pugh lavishly in her remarks: “Florence is a force, and we are so grateful that she’s 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, 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.

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She’s amazing in the film.” 

When news of the purported affair became tabloid fodder, it was quickly alleged that Pugh had been paid a paltry $700G for her appearance in the film, less than a third of Styles’s $2.5 million paycheck.

As the Hollywood Reporter speculated, “Was this why Pugh hadn’t been promoting the film on social media?” Wilde denied this scenario, saying there was “no validity” to reports of the salary inequity.

But then another explosive rumor alleged that Widle had replaced Shia LaBeouf with Styles to keep Pugh “safe” in the wake of his “combative energy.” LaBeouf countered this by declaring that he had himself withdrawn from the film over his displeasure with the way Wilde was milking the issue as a publicity-grabbing stunt.

And then there was that leaked 2020 video, and on and on, making the imbroglio one of the biggest kerfuffles in Hollywood in a season or two.
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As the Hollywood Reporter put it: “The Internet erupted and, suddenly, the much-hyped and deeply stylish sophomore film from a fast-rising director, starring one of the buzziest actresses on the planet and arguably the biggest name in pop music, was amassing attention for all the wrong reasons.”

Don’t Worry Darling is having its world premiere this week in Venice, with intense speculation as to whether Pugh will be doing any more damage control. Veteran Hollywood observers think the scandal-ridden picture could actually benefit, even from bad publicity. The film is set to make its American debut on September 23.

Set in the 1950s fictional town of Victory (reminiscent of atom-bomb company town of Los Alamos, New Mexico), Don’t Worry Darling provides a lethal dose of the fallout generated by life and liasions when things become radioactive, at least on a psychological level.

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