Olivia Wilde Addresses 'Endless Tabloid Gossip,' Avoids Shia LaBeouf Question at 2022 Venice Film Festival

Wilde spoke out during a 'Don't Worry Darling' press conference on Monday.

Olivia Wilde is making it clear she's strictly at the 2022 Venice Film Festival for business and not gossip. During a press conference for her new film, Don't Worry Darling, on Monday, the 38-year-old director briefly debunked rumors of a feud with Florence Pugh, who stars in the movie, but was absent from the event. Pugh is expected to walk the red carpet at the premiere later today.

While Wilde was joined by the film's stars Chris Pine, Harry Styles and Gemma Chan, a reporter told her it was a "shame" that Pugh wasn't there. The reporter further asked, "Can you just clear the air and address if there's been a falling out there and if so why? Because it's something that people are discussing."

Wilde replied, "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. She's amazing in the film."

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"As for all the endless tabloid gossip and all the noise out there, I mean, the internet feeds itself," Wilde added. "I don't feel the need to contribute. It's sufficiently well nourished."

When a journalist from The Hollywood Reporter asked Wilde about "the noise" surrounding the movie, and LaBeouf's exit from it, panel moderator Giulia D'Agnolo Vallan reportedly stepped in, saying, "I think this question has been answered when she talked about the internet," before taking the next question.

Wilde has been extremely complimentary of Pugh's work in the film over the past few months, despite speculation the two are on the outs. Things between Wilde and LaBeouf have been front-and-center since it was revealed in September 2020 that Harry Styles was set to replace him in the film.

In an interview with Variety published last month, Wilde said that she had fired LaBeouf from the film due to his behavior, a claim the actor would later refute. 

"I say this as someone who is such an admirer of his work," Wilde said, "His process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions. He has a process that, in some ways, seems to require a combative energy, and I don’t personally believe that is conducive to the best performances. I believe that creating a safe, trusting environment is the best way to get people to do their best work. Ultimately, my responsibility is to the production and to the cast to protect them. That was my job."

Shortly after the interview was published, LaBeouf fired back, contacting the publication, sharing screenshots of text messages, video and an email he sent to Wilde regarding her comments, according to the outlet.

The 36-year-old actor told Variety he “quit the film due to lack of rehearsal time” on Aug. 17, 2020. 

In a text sent to LaBeouf one day before he allegedly quit, Wilde reportedly wrote, “Thanks for letting me in on your thought process. I know that isn’t fun. Doesn’t feel good to say no to someone, and I respect your honesty. I’m honored you were willing to go there with me, for me to tell a story with you. I’m gutted because it could have been something special. I want to make clear how much it means to me that you trust me. That’s a gift I’ll take with me.”

Variety added that Wilde reportedly later sent a video to LaBeouf, saying, “I feel like I’m not ready to give up on this yet, and I, too, am heartbroken and I want to figure this out."

“You know, I think this might be a bit of a wake-up call for Miss Flo, and I want to know if you’re open to giving this a shot with me, with us," Wilde reportedly added, referencing Pugh. "If she really commits, if she really puts her mind and heart into it at this point and if you guys can make peace -- and I respect your point of view, I respect hers -- but if you guys can do it, what do you think? Is there hope? Will you let me know?"

LaBeouf also shared an email he reportedly wrote to Wilde following her interview with Variety, in which he told her, "I am a little confused about the narrative that I was fired, however. You and I both know the reasons for my exit. I quit your film because your actors & I couldn’t find time to rehearse."

"I know that you are beginning your press run for DWD and that the news of my firing is attractive clickbait, as I am still persona-non-grata and may remain as such for the rest of my life," he continued. "This situation with your film and my 'firing' will never have a court date with which to deal with the facts... If lies are repeated enough in the public they become truth. And so, it makes it that much harder for me to crawl out of the hole I have dug with my behaviors, to be able to provide for my family... Firing me never took place, Olivia. And while I fully understand the attractiveness of pushing that story because of the current social landscape, the social currency that brings. It is not the truth. So I am humbly asking, as a person with an eye toward making things right, that you correct the narrative as best you can. I hope none of this negatively effects [sic] you, and that your film is successful in all the ways you want it to be."

For more on Wilde and LaBeouf's Don't Worry Darling drama, watch the video below.