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Venice Blocks Question on Shia LaBeouf for Olivia Wilde, Who Shuts Down One on Florence Pugh Herself

"I can’t say how honored I am to have [Pugh] as our lead. She’s amazing."

VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 05: Olivia Wilde arrives for the photocall for "Don't Worry Darling" during the 79th Venice International Film Festival on September 05, 2022 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

Olivia Wilde, arriving for the photocall for “Don’t Worry Darling” in Venice on September 5.

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It’s been quite the whirlwind for “Don’t Worry Darling” the past few weeks, and the press tour for Olivia Wilde’s sophomore directing effort just kicked things up a notch with the film’s world premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

At the press conference for the movie, at which Wilde was present alongside Harry Styles, Gemma Chan, and Chris Pine, the director skillfully dodged a question about absent star Florence Pugh and her rumored feud with the actress.

“Florence is a force. We are so grateful she’s able to make it tonight [for the red carpet, but not to take questions] 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 to [Denis Villeneuve] for helping us. And we’ll get to celebrate her work tonight. I can’t say how honored I am to have her as our lead. She’s amazing.

“As for all the endless tabloid gossip and all the noise out there, I mean, the Internet feeds itself.” She added: “I don’t feel the need to contribute. I think it’s sufficiently well nourished.”

Pugh was arriving from Budapest, where she’s currently shooting “Dune 2.” Pugh would be able to walk the red carpet for “Don’t Worry Darling” tonight but would arrive too late to participate in the press conference. However, Variety noted that pictures of Pugh arriving in Venice were available just one hour after the press conference ended. The New York Times’ Kyle Buchanan claimed she was photographed arriving just five minutes after the press conference.

Rumors about an on-set feud between Wilde and Pugh were stoked anew when Shia LaBeouf sent journalists a video of Wilde trying to lure him back to the shoot two days after he claims he quit, with the director seemingly frustrated about Pugh. She called the actress “Miss Flo” and said that this production would be “a wake-up call” for her — LaBeouf claims he quit the shoot after inadequate rehearsal time. Wilde had retroactively claimed in a Variety cover story that she’d fired LaBeouf over his “combative energy” and to keep Pugh “safe.”

As for LaBeouf, a journalist for The Hollywood Reporter tried to ask Wilde a question about the actor, whose Abel Ferrara film “Padre Pio” has also premiered at Venice. But in this case the press conference moderator, provided by the Venice Film Festival itself, shut down the question altogether. It didn’t need to be answered, the moderator said, because “it’s on the internet” and Wilde had “already answered that.”

You can watch the full Venice Film Festival press conference for “Don’t Worry Darling” below.

 

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