In a new interview for Interview Magazine, the director sat down with actress Maggie Gyllenhaal to chat about Olivia's upcoming film starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles, which releases in theaters on Sept. 23.
"She's ferociously talented," Olivia said of Florence. "She was so dogged in her pursuit of the most authentic version of every moment."
She added, "She also knew that my real goal was to create a love story that felt so sincere between her and Harry that people would be incapable of not falling for them as a couple."
Olivia explained that the on-screen love story that is depicted between Florence and Harry—who play married couple Alice and Jack Chambers—has to "be a love that felt real."
"It had to be passionate, but textured," the Booksmart director added. "I wanted so badly to have a nuanced, layered relationship that people would buy into despite knowing at times in the film that they shouldn't."
Olivia—who is currently dating the "Golden" singer—shared that "even when the movie suggests you should question them" she wanted viewers to "fight it."
And it seems like the ambitious quest was one she was able to pull off, to which she credits the acting skills of Harry and Florence.
"It was because of them," Olivia said. "They're both very loving people, and they knew that it's the little moments that differentiate a performative love from an authentic love."
Shia—who was replaced by Harry in the movie—shared an email he said he sent to Olivia to Variety that showed his side of the story.
"I am greatly honored by your words on my work; thank you, that felt good to read," Shia wrote in the message, per Variety. "I am a little confused about the narrative that I was fired, however. You and I both know the reasons for my exit. I quit your film because your actors & I couldn't find time to rehearse."
He continued, "Firing me never took place, Olivia. And while I fully understand the attractiveness of pushing that story because of the current social landscape, the social currency that brings. It is not the truth."
Olivia had previously told the outlet of Shia's exit, "I find myself just really wishing him health and evolution because I believe in restorative justice. But for our film, what we really needed was an energy that was incredibly supportive."