Vanity Fair Gets Olivia Wilde’s Side of the Story in a Friendly Celebrity Puff Piece

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The October Vanity Fair cover story is online today, and it includes the original interview with Wilde — from before the Shia LaBeouf drama, and from before the drama in Venice — but has also been updated to get Wilde’s thoughts on the happenings over the last couple of weeks. Like so many celebrity profiles, it’s a flattering depiction of its subject, which is not an insult, but the piece does take pains, for instance, to absolve Wilde for the way she handled the firing of Shia LaBeouf.

To wit, here’s how Wilde originally characterized the firing:

But during preproduction, Wilde tells me in London, Pugh told her that she was uncomfortable with LaBeouf’s behavior. Wilde says she called LaBeouf herself and fired him: “My responsibility was towards her. I’m like a mother wolf. Making the call was tricky, but in a way he understood. I don’t think it would’ve been a process he enjoyed. He comes at his work with an intensity that can be combative. It wasn’t the ethos that I demand in my productions.

Anyone who has seen the video where Wilde tries to convince LaBeouf to return to the set over the objections of “Miss Flo,” knows that’s not entirely true, but VF gives a rather inscrutable alternate explanation:

A source with knowledge of the situation tells V.F. that the truth is a couple shades of gray: The actor was indeed unhappy with the limited amount of rehearsal time that Pugh had available, and Pugh, in turn, was uncomfortable with his intensity. LaBeouf is said to have given Wilde an ultimatum—she had to choose between him and his costar. Wilde chose Pugh. The tricky, and quintessentially Hollywood, part is that, to spare LaBeouf’s ego, she seems to have allowed him to believe what he wanted to believe: that he was quitting.

VF also suggests the video call Wilde made to LaBeouf came before Pugh registered her discomfort, although that doesn’t seem to track with the content of the message.

As for rumors that Wilde was so busy with her dalliance with Styles that Pugh had to take over as director on many occasions, Wilde dismissed that out of hand.

“It is very rare that people assume the best from women in power,” she says. “I think they don’t often give us the benefit of the doubt. Florence did the job I hired her to do, and she did it exquisitely. She blew me away. Every day I was in awe of her, and we worked very well together.” She pauses. “It is ironic that now, with my second film—which is again about the incredible power of women, what we’re capable of when we unite, and how easy it is to strip a woman of power by using other women to judge and shame them—we’re talking about this.”

Wilde also blows off any suggestion that Pugh’s refusal to do promotion for the film had anything to do with her.

“Florence is one of the most in-demand actresses in the universe. She’s on set on Dune. 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.”

Did Wilde leave her ex, Jason Sudeikis, for Harry Styles? No, she says. Absolutely not.

“The complete horseshit idea that I left Jason for Harry is completely inaccurate,” she says. “Our relationship was over long before I met Harry. Like any relationship that ends, it doesn’t end overnight. Unfortunately, Jason and I had a very bumpy road, and we officially dissolved the relationship towards the beginning of the pandemic. We were raising two kids during lockdown, so we co-parented through that time. Once it became clear that cohabitating was no longer beneficial for the children, it became the responsible thing to not, because we could be better parents as friends who live in different houses.”

For the record, filming on Don’t Worry Darling began in October 2020. Wilde and Sudeikis announced their break-up in November 2020. It is often true, however, that celebrity couples do not announce their break-up until weeks or months after it’s officially over.

As for being served custody papers during Cinemacon, Wilde says that it was consistent with her relationship with Sudeikis.

“So many people were shocked on my behalf,” she says. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t that shocked. There’s a reason that I didn’t stay in that relationship. Unfortunately, that was consistent with my experience of the relationship. So I was probably the least shocked. But I was also deeply saddened by it—and disturbed by it in lots of ways…. I know it took an extraordinary amount of energy [for the server] to get in that room. It took a tremendous amount of forethought. And I will tell you, there are so many other ways to do that. I am not someone who lives in hiding.

Finally, as for the Venice Film Festival? Wilde was diplomatic: “Venice was a whirlwind—from … a fantasy coming true. To stand together with our cast, and finally show the film to an audience of film lovers, was so moving! … This film family went through a lot together, and it was extremely meaningful to celebrate together that night.”

VF, however, heard otherwise. “A source tells me that, privately, Wilde was crushed by what went on at the festival, but, as with the unpleasant surprise at CinemaCon, she had a job to do and she got through it.”

Don’t Worry Darling, meanwhile, doesn’t come out in the States for two more weeks.

Source: Vanity Fair


Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.



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