It happened. Florence Pugh arrived in Venice for the premiere of Don’t Worry Darling amid growing rumors of a feud between the actor and the film’s director, Olivia Wilde. She breezed in wearing a purple Valentino ensemble just as Wilde and the rest of the cast — Harry Styles, Chris Pine, and Gemma Chan — were dodging questions at the film’s press conference. It’s official: The awkward level has been dialed up to 11.
The rumored discord between Wilde and Pugh is quickly becoming the Hollywood story of 2022. Earlier this year, fans started noticing that the actor was barely promoted Don’t Worry Darling on social media, and they quickly speculated that it had something to do with a behind-the-scenes feud. Wilde hasn’t addressed the rumors directly, but she did recently tell Variety that “tabloid media is a tool to pit women against one another and to shame them.”
Pugh had been set to attend the Venice press conference and premiere — reportedly her only public obligations to the film — but abruptly canceled her appearance at the press conference the day before, citing scheduling conflicts with her Dune: Part II shooting schedule. (This excuse was questioned by many, who noted that Dune: Part II’s star, Timothée Chalamet, was able to attend both the press conference and the red-carpet premiere for his film, Bones and All.) This last-minute change only fueled the flames, and when she arrived in Venice on Monday with enough time to grab a drink and pose for photos but not to attend the press conference, it raised some eyebrows.
Minutes before Pugh arrived in Venice, Wilde was fending off questions about the reported feud. “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,” she said, per People, responding to a reporter who asked her to “clear the air” about the rumors. “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.”
“As for all the endless tabloid gossip and all the noise out there, I mean, the internet feeds itself,” she added. “I don’t feel the need to contribute. It’s sufficiently well nourished.” A follow-up question about the other drama surrounding Don’t Worry Darling — Shia LaBeouf’s recent claims that he quit the film, disputing the narrative that Wilde had fired him — was dismissed by the moderator.
So far, Pugh has not had to answer any questions about the supposed feud, but she did pose for photos on the red carpet alongside Wilde. So at least there’s that. I wouldn’t be surprised if she disappeared back to the Dune set without ever having to actually speak about the film at all.