The director expertly skirted around a reporter’s question about why Florence skipped the press conference for the new movie on Monday at the Venice International Film Festival.
“Can you just clear the air and address whether there has been a falling out there and if so, why, because it’s something that people are discussing?” a reporter said, according to The Independent.
“Florence is a force. And we are so grateful that she is able to make it tonight despite being in production on ‘Dune,’” Olivia said. “I know as a director how disruptive it is to lose an actor even for a day, so I’m very grateful to her and Denis Villeneuve for helping us. And we’re really thrilled we’ll get to celebrate her work tonight.”
“I can’t say enough how honoured I am to have her as our lead,” she added, calling Florence “amazing in the film.”
“And 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,” Olivia said. “I think it’s sufficiently well nourished.”
Much ado has been made about Florence’s continued lack of promotion for the film after her initial excitement over being cast in the movie. There’s also a marked difference in the way both she and Olivia have approached the attention over the movie’s sex scenes.
Florence did arrive at the film festival on Monday, but missed the entirety of the press conference, where fellow stars including Chris Pine, Gemma Chan and Wilde’s boyfriend, Harry Styles, took questions.
Also at the Venice Film Festival press conference, the moderator dismissed a reporter’s question about Shia LaBeouf, who was originally cast in Harry’s role, before his exit from the film (another much-disputed detail in the making of the film).
Olivia insisted in a recent interview that she fired Shia, telling Variety that “his process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions.”
In response to her claims, Shia told HuffPost that he “was never fired from Don’t Worry Darling. I quit the film due to lack of rehearsal time.”
He also provided HuffPost with an email he sent to the director, and text messages from the time he exited the film.
Gossip has plagued the movie, which is the second directorial feature from Olivia, who made her debut with the 2019 film Booksmart.
Regardless of the real story, the constant speculation is serving up real attention around the movie, which officially hits cinemas on 23 September.
Check out the official trailer for the psychological thriller below...