Olivia Wilde opened up about much of the drama surrounding her new film “Don’t Worry Darling,” which has been plagued by rumors of feuds between multiple actors and Wilde herself, in an interview on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert.” The director and actress addressed the viral “spitgate” incident between Harry Styles and Chris Pine, and said that questions over whether she fired actor Shia LaBeouf from the movie, or he chose to leave, was an issue of “semantics.”
LaBeouf was originally set to play a leading role in “Don’t Worry Darling,” but Wilde in August told Variety she had fired the actor because “his process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions.” LaBeouf then fired back, saying he quit the film over a lack of time to rehearse, and provided Variety with texts he exchanged with Wilde and a video that she sent to him after he had left the film, in which she appears to ask if he would be willing to come back. In the video, Wilde also appears to reference actress Florence Pugh, who plays the wife of the character LaBeouf was originally cast to play before being replaced by Harry Styles.
“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 said in the video, according to Variety.
On Wednesday, Wilde told her side of the story, telling Colbert that she “tried to mediate a situation between people to try to see if they could work together happily,”
“Once it became clear that it was not a tenable working relationship, I was given an ultimatum,” she said. “I chose my actress, which I’m very happy I did.”
She also said that the information LaBeouf provided to Variety had been taken out of context.
“At the time, was I bummed that we weren’t able to make it work? Yes. Did information about him come to light later that made me confident we made the right decision? Yes,” Wilde said, apparently referencing the lawsuit filed by singer FKA twigs against LaBeouf in which she accused the actor of sexual battery and assault.
When asked directly by Colbert if she fired LaBeouf, Wilde responded, “We had to replace Shia. He is a fantastic actor, but it wasn’t gonna work. When he gave me the ultimatum of, you know, him or Florence, I chose Florence, and that was him feeling he was stepping away and me feeling we were moving on without him.”
Pressed further, Wilde said the issue of whether he was fired or quit boiled down to a “question of semantics.”
Wilde also addressed the viral “spitgate” incident, in which people on social media believed a video from the Venice Film Festival showed Styles spitting on Pine as the former sat down for a screening of the movie.
Wilde, who was sitting next to Pine, told Colbert that Styles “did not” spit on Pine.
“I think it’s a perfect example of, like, people will look for drama anywhere they can,” she said. “Harry did not spit on Chris, in fact.”
Finally, Wilde responded to rumors that she and Pugh have a rocky relationship, telling Colbert she has “nothing but respect for Florence’s talent. She’s fantastic.”
“The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” airs on CBS. Both CBS and CBS News are divisions of Paramount.
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