Olivia Wilde dodged a question about her rumoured feud with Don’t Worry Darling star Florence Pugh during a press conference at the Venice Film Festival on Monday.
After weeks of speculation that the Booksmart director doesn’t get along with her thriller’s leading lady, Wilde was asked by a journalist on Monday if she could “clear the air” about the rumours.
Wilde didn’t directly answer the question but noted that she doesn’t feel the need “to contribute” to the tabloid gossip surrounding her latest film.
“Florence is a force. We are so grateful she’s able to make it tonight despite being in production on Dune,” she said, reports Variety. “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 (Dune director Denis Villeneuve) for helping us. And we’ll get to celebrate her work tonight. I can’t say how honoured I am to have her as our lead. She’s amazing.
“As for all the endless tabloid gossip and all the noise out there, the Internet feeds itself. I don’t feel the need to contribute; I think it’s sufficiently well-nourished.”
Pugh was noticeably absent from the film’s photocall and press conference, which was attended by Wilde and her actors Harry Styles, Chris Pine and Gemma Chan. The Black Widow star was photographed arriving in Venice shortly after the events and is expected to hit the red carpet for the premiere Monday evening.
Festival officials insisted that her flight to Venice from Budapest, Hungary – where she is filming Dune: Part Two – didn’t land until after the press conference.
During the event, another journalist attempted to ask about Shia LaBeouf’s recent denial that he was fired from the movie. He claimed that he quit as he didn’t have enough rehearsal with his co-stars and publicly shared videos and text messages with Wilde to back himself up.
The press conference moderator shut down the question by insisting that it had already been answered by the director’s earlier response about the Pugh rumours.
Wilde also made sure the focus was on her movie rather than her relationship with Styles – they arrived in separate boats and stood on either side of Chan and Pine for the photocall.