Actor and director Olivia Wilde revealed why she cast her boyfriend Harry Styles as the male lead in her upcoming film Don't Worry Darling. It turns out it has nothing to do with their relationship.
Wilde revealed to Variety Styles was actually her second choice for her directorial follow-up to 2019's Booksmart, called in after she fired her original star Shia LaBeouf in order to make Florence Pugh "feel safe."
Wilde told Variety it was LaBeouf's "combative" process made her axe him in favor of Styles because of the many "vulnerable" situations required of Pugh during production.
Her casting change came just a few months before LaBeouf's former partner and costar FKA Twigs filed suit against him for sexual battery.
Speaking about LaBeouf, Wilde told Variety:
“I say this as someone who is such an admirer of his work: His process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions."
Wilde has previously spoken of a firm "no a**holes" policy on her projects.
She went on to say LaBeouf's approach was not in line with hers.
"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.”
Shortly after his 2020 firing, FKA Twigs filed suit against LaBeouf for sexual battery, alleging sexual, emotional and psychological abuse throughout their year-long relationship, which began while FKA Twigs was co-starring in LaBeouf's semi-autobiographical drama Honey Boy.
Wilde referenced these allegations while explaining her move was motivated by an instinct to protect star Florence Pughon.
She told Variety:
“A lot came to light after [his firing] happened that really troubled me, in terms of his behavior. For our film, what we really needed was an energy that was incredibly supportive."
"Particularly with a movie like this, I knew that I was going to be asking Florence to be in very vulnerable situations, and my priority was making her feel safe and making her feel supported.”
On Twitter, many applauded Wilde for her decision.
Others couldn't believe there was yet more drama to the story of Wilde's film, which has been plagued by behind-the-scenes gossip for months.
Despite the allegations against him, Wilde said she has no hard feelings for LaBeouf.
“I find myself just really wishing him health and evolution because I believe in restorative justice.”
Don't Worry Darling comes out September 23.