Olivia Wilde Dismisses ‘Endless Tabloid Gossip’ and Avoids Shia LaBeouf Question at Press Conference

Olivia Wilde avoided a question about Shia LaBeouf and was asked to “clear the air” about a rumored feud with Florence Pugh at the Venice Film Festival’s Don’t Worry Darling press conference.

On Monday, the director/actress, 38, spoke to journalists about her new thriller at a panel alongside cast members Chris Pine, Harry Styles and Gemma Chan. When one reporter complimented the performances and said it was a “shame” Pugh, 26, was absent, they asked: “Can you just clear the air and address if there’s been a falling out there and if so why? Because it’s something that people are discussing.”

Pugh is currently filming Dune: Part Two and is flying into Venice from the set and doesn’t land until after the press conference, which had always been the plan, sources told PEOPLE Sunday. She is expected to attend the film’s premiere and red carpet later on Monday.

Wilde responded, “Florence is a force, and 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, to Denis Villeneuve for helping us. And we’re really thrilled we’ll get to celebrate her work tonight. I can’t say enough how honored I am to have her as our lead. She’s amazing in the movie.”

“As for all the endless tabloid gossip and all the noise out there, I mean, the internet feeds itself,” she continued. “I don’t feel the need to contribute. It’s sufficiently well nourished.”

The next question was shut down by moderator Giulia D’Agnolo Vallan after a journalist from The Hollywood Reporter asked about “the noise” surrounding the film, particularly about LaBeouf’s exit from the project. “I think this question has been answered when she talked about the internet,” said Vallan, moving on to the next question.

RELATED: A Complete Timeline of the Don’t Worry Darling Drama

VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 05: : (L-R) Harry Styles, Gemma Chan, Chris Pine and director Olivia Wilde attend the photocall for

VENICE, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 05: : (L-R) Harry Styles, Gemma Chan, Chris Pine and director Olivia Wilde attend the photocall for

Stephane Cardinale – Corbis/Corbis via Getty

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Responding to Wilde’s remarks in an August Variety cover story about firing him, LaBeouf offered an alternative point of view of what led to his exit, sharing an email with the outlet that he said he sent to the director. In it, he wrote, “You and I both know the reasons for my exit. I quit your film because of your actors and I couldn’t find time to rehearse.”

“Firing me never took place, Olivia,” the actor, 36, added. “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.”

Styles, 28, ultimately landed the role LaBeouf was previously cast to play opposite Pugh.

VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 05: Olivia Wilde arrives at the Casino Palace during the 79th Venice International Film Festival on September 05, 2022 in Venice, Italy.  (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

VENICE, ITALY – SEPTEMBER 05: Olivia Wilde arrives at the Casino Palace during the 79th Venice International Film Festival on September 05, 2022 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)

Franco Origlia/Getty

In her initial comments about LaBeouf’s departure to VarietyWilde started by complimenting the actor’s work while claiming his work style was not conducive to the on-set environment she prefers to maintain.

“I say this as someone who is such an admirer of his work,” she said at the time. “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.”

She added, “I believe that creating a safe, trusting environment is the best way to get people to do their best work. Ultimately, my responsibility is to the production and to the cast to protect them. That was my job.”

RELATED: Olivia Wilde Praises Florence Pugh, Shuts Down ‘Clickbait’ Rumors That ‘Pit Women Against One Another’

Shia LaBeouf, Olivia Wilde, Florence Pugh

Shia LaBeouf, Olivia Wilde, Florence Pugh

George Pimentel/Getty; Kevin Winter/Getty; Mike Marsland/WireImage

LaBeouf said in his email to Wilde that he was “greatly honored” by her praise of his work, but he was “a little confused about the narrative that I was fired.”

In his clarifications to Variety, he included emails and videos he allegedly received from Wilde, including one clip in which Wilde asked LaBeouf not to leave the project and alluded to tension between him and costar Pugh. The video has since leaked online.

In the video, she says, “I feel like I’m not ready to give up on this yet, and I too am heartbroken and I want to figure this out. You know, I think this might be a bit of a wake- up call for Miss Flo, and I wanna know if you’re open to giving this a shot with me, with us. If she really commits, if she really puts her mind and heart into it at this point and if you guys can make peace — and I respect your point of view, I respect hers — but if you guys can do it, what do you think? Is there hope? Is there hope? Will you let me know?”

Don’t Worry Darling is in theaters Sept. 23.

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