Olivia Wilde is over tabloids churning out rumors of a feud between her and Florence Pugh.
After Wilde cast Pugh to star as the lead in her forthcoming psychological thriller, Don’t Worry Darling, fans online have speculated that there has been tension on set between the two women. The flames were only further fanned when Page Six quoted an anonymous source who claimed that Pugh was upset over Wilde’s romantic relationship with Harry Styles, who costars with Pugh in the film. Then, another report claimed that Styles was getting paid three times the amount that Pugh was.
Wilde denied the report in a new interview with Variety.
“There has been a lot out there that I largely don’t pay attention to. But the absurdity of invented clickbait and subsequent reaction regarding a nonexistent pay disparity between our lead and supporting actors really upset me,” she wrote to the magazine in an email. “I’m a woman who has been in this business for over 20 years, and it’s something that I have fought for myself and others, especially being a director. There is absolutely no validity to those claims.”
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Wilde also praised her leading lady for her onscreen prowess.
Though the director had originally pitched Don’t Worry Darling to Warner Bros. as herself playing the lead, she told Variety that she felt a younger star might be better for the part. Then, she saw Pugh’s breakout role in the 2019 A24 horror film Midsommar.
“I had been blown the fuck away by her,” Wilde said of the actress. “I loved the film, but I loved her. I was just like, ‘Well, she’s extraordinary. She’s clearly the most exciting young actress working today.'”
At the time, Pugh’s Oscar-nominated performance in Little Women had yet to be released. Still, Wilde said, “We knew she was a superstar.”
Of Styles and Pugh’s working relationship, Wilde observed, “We were all brought so close by the bubble of the production. She was really a great supporter of his as someone who was newer to a film set. And he was such a great supporter of hers, as someone who understood it was her film.”
“When it’s reduced to your sex scenes, or to watch the most famous man in the world go down on someone, it’s not why we do it. It’s not why I’m in this industry,” she said. “Obviously, the nature of hiring the most famous pop star in the world, you’re going to have conversations like that. That’s just not what I’m going to be discussing because [this movie is] bigger and better than that. And the people who made it are bigger and better than that.”
This article originally appeared on Harper’s BAZAAR US.