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Venice: Dont Worry Darling Faces the Press, but Where Is Florence Pugh?

Although movies star skipped the media session, director Olivia Wilde called rumors of these feud endless tabloid gossip.

Harry Styles, left, kept his distance from the director Olivia Wilde, right, when the “Don’t Worry Darling” team, including Gemma Chan and Chris Pine, met the press on Monday. Florence Pugh was not on hand.
Credit…Joel C Ryan/Invision, via Associated Press

Kyle Buchanan

VENICE Even prior to the talent filed set for the Dont Worry Darling news conference on Monday afternoon at the Venice Film Festival, the name placards on the dais told a tale.

Although filmmaker and top-billed star are usually seated close to one another, the placards for the director, Olivia Wilde, and her main character, Harry Styles, were spaced far apart, with co-stars Chris Pine and Gemma Chan among them, so photos of the rumored couple will be harder to snap. And there is no placard at all for the films star, Florence Pugh, whose no-show at the session further deepened rumors of a rift between her and Wilde.

The premise of Dont Worry Darling is juicy enough alone: Pugh plays a housewife with a picture-perfect 1950s marriage who suspects that the carefully manicured world around her is really a sinister illusion. However the movies behind-the-scenes drama has been even juicier, and after weeks of headlines and speculation, Mondays news conference became a hotter ticket than a lot of Venices major premieres.

A recap of the drama so far:

Fans initially figured something was amiss when Pugh, who’s normally wanting to promote her projects on social media marketing, were giving Dont Worry Darling the cold shoulder. Indeed, Pugh did notably little promo for the film whether on social media marketing or in traditional outlets, and the most common onslaught of press junkets and interviews necessary for a movie and star of the scale has been waived.


Credit…Merrick Morton/Warner Bros., via Associated Press

Pughs reps maintained that she’s been too busy filming her new role in Dune: Part Two to invest in obligations, like the Venice news conference, but Dune star Timothe Chalamet could clear several days to market his romantic drama Bones and All in Venice. And something would presume that since Warner Bros is distributing both Dont Worry Darling and the Dune sequel, an accommodating schedule might have been carved out for Pugh as soon as she signed on for the latter film, especially because it includes a sprawling ensemble cast.

Pucks Matthew Belloni recently reported that Pugh and Wilde began feuding due to the on-set affair between Wilde and Styles, writing that Pugh wasnt a fan of her director disappearing frequently with her main character between camera setups. Indeed, Wildes personal life has received outsized scrutiny in this promotional tour, not only because she actually is dating a famous pop star but additionally because her ex-fianc, the Ted Lasso star Jason Sudeikis, had her served with custody papers while she was onstage promoting Dont Worry Darling at CinemaCon in April.

Its worth noting, too, a significant part of Styless group of fans resents the current presence of Wilde in his life and continually whips up social-media trending topics about her in a bid to damage her sophomore film. Regardless of that when Dont Worry Darling tanks, it could presumably wound their pop idols nascent film career: The flames of passion, once fanned, blow indiscriminately atlanta divorce attorneys direction.

Due to each one of these behind-the-scenes narratives, many expected fireworks at the Venice media session. But having sat through several of the, I knew that the festival press corps is tame and directed at blandishments; in the first going, after Wilde, Styles, and the others took their seats, the majority of the questions were simply about how exactly Styles were able to juggle his music and movie careers.

Personally, I see them to be opposite in plenty of ways, Styles said. What I love about acting may be the feeling that I’ve no idea what Im doing.

But round the halfway mark, a journalist finally broke through the glaze and asked Wilde the big question: Would she prefer to clear the air about her rumored falling-out with Pugh?

Florence is really a force, Wilde replied evenly, noting that Pugh would at the very least walk the red carpet at the films Venice premiere. We have been so grateful that she actually is able to ensure it is tonight despite being in production on Dune. I understand as a director how disruptive it really is to reduce an actor even for each day.

Wilde continued to wax rhapsodic about her leading lady I cant say enough how honored I’m to possess her as our lead, she said and pivoted: For all of the endless tabloid gossip and noise on the market, the web feeds itself. I dont wish to contribute. I believe its sufficiently well-nourished.

At that, some friendly journalists broke into mild applause, however the Hollywood Reporters Alex Ritman rose with a follow-up: I’d like to enquire about the noise you merely mentioned.

The question has been answered, replied the moderator, Giulia DAgnolo Vallan.

Ritman protested he had another question about Shia LaBeouf, who was simply initially cast because the male lead in Dont Worry Darling and left the film under disputed, clearly contentious circumstances. In a recently available Variety cover story, Wilde claimed she had fired LaBeouf as the actor, who has been accused of abuse by his ex-girlfriend FKA twigs, had not been conducive to the ethos that I demand in my own productions.

LaBeouf replied with a statement declaring he previously not been fired but rather quit the film of their own volition, supplying Variety with texts from Wilde and a video she sent LaBeouf asking him to take into account staying on Dont Worry Darling. In the video, Wilde says LaBeoufs departure is actually a wake-up demand Miss Flo. Minutes after it leaked online, Wildes diminutive nickname for Pugh became a Twitter trending topic.

Still, the moderator of the Venice news conference refused to permit the type of questioning. I believe this question has been answered, DAgnolo Vallan said firmly because the other actors on the dais stared neutrally into space. Two more questions were extracted from other journalists and the session wrapped.

It felt ridiculous, Ritman explained later, after his inquiry to Wilde was denied. She hadnt already answered the question, also it appeared like it had recently been carefully arranged with the moderator beforehand.

However in Venice, as in Hollywood, careful choreography is par for the course. 5 minutes after Wilde was asked why Pugh had missed the news headlines conference, her star was photographed sauntering down a deck in Venice, dressed to the nines in purple Valentino. Maybe her plane experienced Newark?

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