During a Sept. 4 press conference for the upcoming thriller, which stars Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, Gemma Chan and Chris Pine, Olivia shared her thoughts on Florence's performance and what it was like working together.
"Florence is a force," Olivia gushed, per CNN, before noting her absence from the press conference. "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, very grateful to Denis Villeneuve for helping us, and we're really thrilled we'll get to celebrate her work tonight."
Olivia continued, "I can't say enough how honored I am to have her as our lead. She's amazing in the film."
Although Florence couldn't attend the press conference, she was seen arriving at the Venice airport on Sept. 5 and is expected to hit the red carpet at the Don't Worry Darling premiere later in the day.
And while Olivia happily praised Florence's work, she briefly addressed rumors that they had a falling out, saying, "As for all the endless tabloid gossip and all the noise out there, I mean, the internet feeds itself. I don't feel the need to contribute. I think it's sufficiently well-nourished."
However, when asked about Shia LaBeouf—who was originally cast to play the lead actor, opposite of Florence, but was replaced by Harry—Olivia shut down the question completely.
"I think that question has been answered," Olivia put it simply.
Last month, Olivia claimed that she fired Shia from the film, telling Variety in an interview, "His process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions. He has a process that, in some ways, seems to require a combative energy, and I don't personally believe that is conducive to the best performances."
Olivia, who said she admired Shia's work, added, "Ultimately, my responsibility is to the production and to the cast to protect them. That was my job."
Days later, Shia claimed that he wasn't fired from Don't Worry Darling, insisting that he quit on his own accord instead.
"I am greatly honored by your words on my work; thank you, that felt good to read," Shia wrote in a detailed email to Olivia, obtained by 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."
"Firing me never took place, Olivia," he continued his message. "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. So I am humbly asking, as a person with an eye toward making things right, that you correct the narrative as best you can. I hope none of this negatively effects you, and that your film is successful in all the ways you want it to be."
E! News previously reached out to reps for LaBeouf and Wilde and has yet to receive a response.
Don't Worry Darling premieres on Sept. 5 at the Venice Film Festival and will hit theaters on Sept. 23.
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