Olivia Wilde’s new film “Don’t Worry Darling” took center stage at the Venice Film Festival on Monday.
During a press conference for the upcoming thriller, Wilde, who directs and appears in the film in a supporting role, was asked about the project’s star, Florence Pugh. Pugh was absent from the press conference due to filming commitments she had on “Dune: Part Two,” but she will be attending the premiere screening of “Don’t Worry Darling” at the festival on Monday night.
“Florence is a force,” Wilde said. “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, very grateful to Denis Villeneuve (director of ‘Dune: Part Two’) for helping us, and we’re really thrilled we’ll get to celebrate her work tonight.”
Wilde added, “I can’t say enough how honored I am to have her as our lead. She’s amazing in the film.”
The director was asked about reports she and Pugh have experienced a falling out.
“As for all the endless tabloid gossip and all the noise out there, I mean, the internet feeds itself,” Wilde said. “I don’t feel the need to contribute. I think it’s sufficiently well-nourished.”
A moderator for the press conference redirected the conversation when a journalist asked Wilde a question about actor Shia LaBeof, who was originally cast to play opposite Pugh in a role that ended up going to singer and actor Harry Styles, stating, “I think that question has been answered,”
LaBeof recently pushed back on reporting he was let go from the project. He left the film because he didn’t feel the actors were given enough time to rehearse, according to a report from Variety.
“Don’t Worry Darling” also stars Gemma Chan and Chris Pine.
Styles, who is currently performing on a world tour, was asked about his future plans to appear on screen. The “As It Was” singer said he takes his life “day by day.”
“Making music is a really personal thing and there are aspects of acting where you’re drawing from experience, but for the most part pretending to play someone else,” Styles said. “That’s what I find the most fun about it.”
“Don’t Worry Darling” is being distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, which is owned by CNN’s parent company. The film premieres Monday night in Venice and will debut in theaters on September 23.