On Monday at the Venice Film Festival, Harry Styles fans descended on the Palazzo del Cinema many hours before the red carpet premiere of his new film Don’t Worry Darling.
Inside the adjacent Sala Casino, director Olivia Wilde and some of the cast members of the psychological thriller—including her beau Harry Styles, Chris Pine, and Gemma Chan—participated in a press conference for the anticipated movie.
One person notably missing from the presser was the film’s lead, Florence Pugh, who will also reportedly not be taking questions on the red carpet. Her absence comes amid tabloid rumors of a rift between her and Wilde, as well as leaked text messages and audio from accused serial abuser Shia LaBeouf, who departed the film.
LaBeouf, who’s been known to pile on the lies, alleges that, despite Wilde’s claim that he was fired for aggression problems and a lack of chemistry with Pugh, it was his decision to leave the project. A video leaked by LaBeouf shows Wilde pleading with him to rejoin the film and painting “Miss Flo” (Pugh) as the on-set issue.
When Wilde was asked about Pugh’s absence—and rumors of a “falling-out” between the two—she didn’t deny the claims and instead cited Pugh being busy shooting the sequel to Dune.
“Florence is a force, and we are so grateful that she’s able to make it tonight despite being in production on Dune,” said Wilde. “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 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. And, as for all the endless tabloid gossip and all the noise out there, I mean, the internet feeds itself. I don’t feel the need to contribute. I think it’s sufficiently well-nourished.”
When another reporter tried to ask about the claims made by Shia LaBeouf, the press conference moderator shut it down, saying, “I think that question has been answered.”