Olivia Wilde Clears Up Harry Styles 'Spitgate' Drama, Shia LaBeouf Leaving Don't Worry Darling
Wilde also addresses her rumored feud with Florence Pugh and questions why women directors have to deal with questions like these far more than their male counterparts.
Was Shia LaBeouf fired by Olivia Wilde from the set of her film “Don’t Worry Darling”? Are Wilde and star Florence Pugh feuding? Did Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine? Does anyone want to talk about the movie itself?
Wilde has certainly found herself in the middle of a weird news cycle for an acclaimed director about to release their sophomore film. The psychological thriller hits theaters on Friday, September 23, but far more time is being spent on behind-the-scenes drama.
The director and actress addressed several of the biggest rumors that have cropped up around the production during a Thursday night appearance with Stephen Colbert on “The Late Show.”
One of the biggest stories to break out of it came early when Shia LaBeouf parted ways with the film. Then, when he returned to the spotlight in more recent weeks to apologize for a lot of different things, there were suddenly two different narratives about what had happened, coming from Wilde and LaBeouf.
In one of them, LaBeouf’s erratic and combative acting style was a mismatch with the type of production set Wilde was wanting to foster and so she basically fired him. In the other, she was messaging him that she wanted him to stay and it was LaBeouf that quit.
So what’s the truth? How about both of them are right. Wait, huh?
Wilde addressed the messages shared, which she said were out of context. She then explained that she’d acted as mediator early on to try and convince her stars to work together, only that didn’t work out.
“Once it became clear that it was not a tenable working relationship, I was given an ultimatum.” It was the fallout of this ultimatum that created a situation where both versions of the story could simultaneously be true.
“When he gave me the ultimatum of him or Florence, I chose Florence, and that was him feeling he was stepping away, and me feeling like we were moving on without him,” Wilde explained. So he felt as if he quit because his ultimatum wasn’t met, and she felt as if she “had to replace” him because she wasn’t going to meet his ultimatum.
But even that wasn’t the most ridiculous rumor that erupted from the film. When she was asked about the rumored feud between her and Pugh, Wilde initially sidestepped that question and expertly pivoted to talking about “spitgate” instead.
This moment came during the film’s premiere, with a clip going viral as the internet debated whether or not Harry Styles spit on his co-star Chris Pine. Somehow, this became not only a trending topic, but a mystery that demanded to be solved.
Well, Wilde is more than happy to oblige, telling Colbert that it did not happen. “But I think it’s a perfect example of, like, people will look for drama anywhere they can,” she said.
She also alleged that people can see video evidence of something not happening and “they’ll still see what they want to see, and that is the creation of drama and that is clickbait.”
To Colbert’s credit, he didn’t let Wilde off the hook. He allowed her to fully explain “spitgate” and then he concluded that discussion by asking, “So no tension between you and Florence Pugh?”
Wilde hedged her comments a bit here, saying that she has “nothing but respect” for her film’s star, and that “there’s nothing cooler than a busy actress.” She did finally say, “I have nothing against her for any reason.”
When pressed about Pugh not showing up for the press conference about the film, Wilde was ready to talk about how her male director colleagues don’t have to face this kind of scrutiny about things that are not their film itself.
“They’re praised for being tyrannical, they can be investigated time and time again, it still doesn’t overtake conversations of their actual talent or about the films themselves,” she said.
Colbert agreed with her, and said that even if every rumor about her and this film were true, it would still be “pretty light fare Albert Hitchcock or any of the great directors out there that we admire so much.”
He also said that he probably wouldn’t even have questions like these to ask to a male director because the rumor mill wouldn’t be dredging these kinds of things up in the same way.
“This is something we’ve come to expect,” said Wilde. “It is just very different standards that are created for women and men … in the world at large, of course, we’re not just talking about Hollywood.”
She said that going through this over the past three years of bringing this film fully to this point has actually changed her way of thinking about the internet, but she also sees an incredible irony in what’s happened.
“All of this is really what the film’s about,” she explained. “The film is about the narratives that we are fed and whether we choose to accept them or question their sources.”
Wilde also talked about the film, and the fun of acting opposite her daughter and portraying “the drunk 1950s version of” herself, inspired in part by her grandmother. You can watch that video below, and check out “Don’t Worry Darling” in theaters on Friday.