“I knew I was going to ask Florence to be in very vulnerable situations, and my priority was to make her feel safe and make her feel supported,” Wilde said of Harry Styles replacing LaBeouf.
Director Olivia Wilde wanted her “Don’t Worry Darling” cast not to worry about safety on set.
Originally, Wilde was cast in the lead role of Alice, a suburban housewife who begins to interrogate her husband Jack and their 1950s town of Victory, California. But when Wilde decided she wanted a younger couple in the middle of the film, she immediately thought of “Midsommar” star Florence Pugh and “Dunkirk” breakthrough (and international pop star) Harry Styles. However, Styles was touring at the time and Shia LaBeouf was cast instead.
By the early production days in 2020, Wilde realized that LaBeouf had to be let go.
“I say this as someone who is such an admirer of his work: His process was not conducive to the ethos I demand in my productions,” Wilde revealed to Variety. “He has a process that in some ways seems to require a combative energy, and I personally don’t believe that is conducive to the best performance.”
At the time, Wilde cited a “no assholes policy,” while the studio claimed LaBeouf had scheduling conflicts. Later that year, LaBeouf’s former partner and “Honey Boy” co-star FKA Twigs filed a lawsuit against the actor for sexual, emotional, and psychological abuse.
“After this happened, a lot came to light that really worried me, in terms of his behavior,” Wilde said. “For our film, we really needed an energy that was incredibly supportive. Especially with a film like this, I knew I was going to ask Florence to be in very vulnerable situations, and my priority was to make her feel safe and give her the make her feel supported.”
Booksmart’s director added: “I believe that creating a safe, trusted environment is the best way for people to do their best work. Ultimately, it is my responsibility to protect the production and the cast. That was my job. .”
As for LaBeouf, who will star in Abel Ferrara’s “Pedro Pio,” Wilde added: “I find myself really wishing him health and evolution because I believe in restorative justice.”
And it all turned out well, it seems. Due to the pandemic, Styles’ tour was canceled, freeing up his schedule to star in “Don’t Worry Darling” and, Wilde says, wowed his co-stars with a powerful scene that left her in tears (the good kind). on set.