There’s only one more sleep until Don’t Worry Darling becomes viewable for those of us without a Venice press pass, and whether you’ve been worrying or not about the film’s hefty behind-the-scenes drama, Olivia Wilde would like to clear things up.
During an appearance on Wednesday’s The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Colbert directly questioned Wilde on the “reports of feuds, people analyzing body language, private messages being released, narratives and counter-narratives” that have run rampant through the film’s bonkers press junket. First on the clarification list: was Shia LaBeouf fired from the set, or did he leave of his own accord?
Wilde’s answer (per usual) is nothing short of diplomatic. “Early on in the process of making the film, as the director, I tried to mediate a situation between people to try to see if they could work together happily,” Wilde explains. “Once it became clear that it was not a tenable working relationship, I was given an ultimatum. I chose my actress, which I’m very happy I did. At the time, was I bummed that we weren’t able to make it work? Sure. Did information come to light later that made me confident we made the right decision? Absolutely.”
When Colbert, a self-described “tribune of the people,” pushes Wilde to further specify exactly what happened with LaBeouf and whether or not she fired him, she somewhat obliges. “We had to replace Shia. He is a fantastic actor but it wasn’t gonna work,” she says. “And you know, when he gave me the ultimatum of him or Florence [Pugh], I chose Florence, and that was him feeling he was stepping away and me feeling like we were moving on without him [...] It’s a question of semantics.”
Did Olivia Wilde Fire Shia LaBeouf? “A Question Of Semantics” Says The “Don’t Worry Darling” Dir.
Despite participating in the dramatic dissection, Colbert also expresses his sympathies toward the Don’t Worry Darling media circus early on in the interview. He tells Wilde at one point it must be “particularly frustrating to have people talking about a lot of things that aren’t the film itself.”
“Oh are they?” Wilde jokes to the audience’s delight while taking a pointed sip from her The Late Show mug. All jokes aside, however, Wilde is clearly more than aware of Don’t Worry Darling’s behind-the-scenes intrigue—and in some ways, sees it as an allegory for the film.
“It’s kind of ironic because all of it is really what [Don’t Worry Darling]’s about,” she explains. “The film is about the narratives we are fed and whether we choose to accept them or question their sources. And as you said, there were private messages that were released without context to try to make a situation look like something that it wasn’t.”