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Olivia Wilde Reacts to ‘Astounding’ Florence Pugh Not Promoting ‘Don’t Worry Darling’: I ‘Hired Her to Act’

Olivia Wilde I Hired Florence Pugh Act Dont Worry Darling Not Post
Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock; David Fisher/Shutterstock

The drama continues. As Florence Pugh has stayed relatively quiet on social media about her experience filming Don’t Worry Darling amid feud rumors, director Olivia Wilde has opened up about their relationship.

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“Florence is one of the most in-demand actresses in the universe. She’s on set on Dune,” Wilde, 38, told Vanity Fair in an interview published on Thursday, September 8. “I gather that some people expect for her to be engaging more on social media. I didn’t hire her to post. I hired her to act. She fulfilled every single expectation I had of her. That’s all that matters to me.”

The Little Women actress, 28, was cast as leading lady Alice in Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling film, which is set for a theatrical release later this month.

“Florence’s performance in this film is astounding. It’s just baffling to me that the media would rather focus on baseless rumors and gossip, thereby overshadowing her profound talent,” the New York native, who directed the psychological thriller, told the magazine about the alleged drama between the two women. “She deserves more than that. As does the movie, and everyone who worked so hard on it.”

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After production on the film — which also stars Wilde’s boyfriend, Harry Styles, Chris Pine and Gemma Chan — wrapped, rumors started swirling that Pugh was not promoting the project on social media or at press events after she was upset that the former One Direction singer, 28, was paid significantly more.

“There has been a lot out there that I largely don’t pay attention to,” Wilde told Variety last month. “But the absurdity of invented clickbait and subsequent reaction regarding a nonexistent pay disparity between our lead and supporting actors really upset me.”

She continued: “I’m a woman who has been in this business for over 20 years, and it’s something that I have fought for myself and others, especially being a director. There is absolutely no validity to those claims.”

A source noted to Us Weekly at the time that both Pugh and Wilde had “several disagreements personally and professionally,” which led to the Black Widow actress deciding to skip doing press engagements ahead of Don’t Worry Darling.

Pugh did not participate in the film’s Venice International Film Festival panel earlier this month, while Wilde ended up dodging questions about their supposed feud.

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“Florence is a force,” the Booksmart director said during the Monday, September 5, press conference. “We are so grateful she’s able to make it tonight [for the red carpet] despite being in production on Dune.”

Pugh did show up for the red carpet and premiere screening, though she did not stand beside Wilde at any point.

“I’m still taking it all in! Qwoaaar. What a moment this was? A massive congratulations to everyone standing on that carpet,” the Midsommar star captioned red carpet photos of the cast and Wilde via Instagram on Wednesday, September 7. “We premiered in Venice! A huge wonderful win in itself. I’d never been to Venice Film Festival before. It was mega! The crowds! The cheers! The energy was incredible.”

She added at the time: “And to all the cast and crew as well who helped to make this movie, thank you for all of your hard work. We genuinely wouldn’t have been there without your talent and we appreciate it hugely.”

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