Olivia Wilde attends the "Don't Worry Darling" red carpet at the 79th Venice International Film Festival on September 05, 2022 in Venice, Italy.

In an interview with Vanity Fair,

“My tendency is to be everyone’s best friend and to socialize, and I think she often just needed the time and space to focus, so the way I supported her was to give her space and to be there if she needed anything. Florence was very focused on turning out that performance, which I can assure you took all of her energy.”

Matthew Libatique, Don’t Worry Darling’s celebrated cinematographer, backs up Wilde: “It was one of the most harmonious sets I’ve ever been on, and I’m in the middle of the storm.”

Pugh didn’t respond to V.F.’s requests for this piece, and her silence about the movie has generally been taken as shade aimed at its director. When I speak to Wilde in London, she tells me, “Florence is one of the most in-demand actresses in the universe. She’s on set on Dune. I gather that some people expect for her to be engaging more on social media. I didn’t hire her to post. I hired her to act. She fulfilled every single expectation I had of her. That’s all that matters to me.”

Even after the tension in Venice, Wilde stands by her star and her team: “Florence’s performance in this film is astounding. It’s just baffling to me that the media would rather focus on baseless rumors and gossip, thereby overshadowing her profound talent. She deserves more than that. As does the movie, and everyone who worked so hard on it.”

More personal rumors have dogged Wilde too. Though her split from Sudeikis was initially friendly, the timeline of their breakup has become a point of public contention. Last year, Sudeikis told GQ that the relationship ended in November 2020, which was just two months before Wilde was photographed holding Styles’s hand. Strangers on the internet took this to be Sudeikis’s way of suggesting that the relationships overlapped.

“The complete horseshit idea that I left Jason for Harry is completely inaccurate,” she says. “Our relationship was over long before I met Harry. Like any relationship that ends, it doesn’t end overnight. Unfortunately, Jason and I had a very bumpy road, and we officially dissolved the relationship towards the beginning of the pandemic. We were raising two kids during lockdown, so we co-parented through that time. Once it became clear that cohabitating was no longer beneficial for the children, it became the responsible thing to not, because we could be better parents as friends who live in different houses. But, yeah, I don’t understand the need to create false narratives and drama around this kind of stuff. It’s like, haven’t the kids been through enough?”

Wilde says she has been “very up front” with her children about the situation: “They understand the concept of making decisions to protect yourself and to live an authentic, happy life. They really do. I evolved a lot between when I was 27 and 35. I found myself as a director. And I think I found myself as an individual. And sometimes when you evolve, you evolve out of relationships that were based on an earlier version of yourself.”

At CinemaCon, after the contact high of Mirren’s hug, Wilde walked onstage—and into a trap. A woman in the crowd below pushed a manila envelope toward her. Wilde picked it up and opened it, jokingly asking if it was a script. It was not. The envelope contained legal papers regarding the custody of her and Sudeikis’s children. She had been served. Wilde closed the envelope and continued with her presentation without missing a beat. “In that moment, I had a job to do and I did my job,” she says. “I was able to compartmentalize quite easily because I cared so deeply and the film was so much work.”

A source close to Sudeikis insisted that the actor had not known when or where the papers would be served and would never condone such a turn of events. Wilde suspects Sudeikis orchestrated the stunt “to disrupt” her big moment. “So many people were shocked on my behalf,” she says. “Unfortunately, I wasn’t that shocked. There’s a reason that I didn’t stay in that relationship. Unfortunately, that was consistent with my experience of the relationship. So I was probably the least shocked. But I was also deeply saddened by it—and disturbed by it in lots of ways…. I know it took an extraordinary amount of energy [for the server] to get in that room. It took a tremendous amount of forethought. And I will tell you, there are so many other ways to do that. I am not someone who lives in hiding. If that experience hadn’t been public, I never would have spoken of it, because I never would want my kids to know that happened. Unfortunately, they will know that happened.”

“I’m f—ing tough,” she says. “Like, the whole world saw me get served [custody] papers.” She continues: “I’ve had women judging me for separating from Jason. There are people who feel entitled to hurl horrendous insults at me and my family. Telling me I’m a terrible mother. Threatening me and my kids or saying I should lose my children.” She says people mistakenly assume that when she is photographed with Styles, she is neglecting her kids—but Sudeikis has equal custody. “When they are with their father, I trust him to be a great parent. So when they’re not with me, I continue to live my life. But the judgment I’ve seen from people for living my life…”

Wilde is careful about what she says about her relationship with Styles. “I think once you crack open the window,” as she puts it, “you can’t then be mad when mosquitoes come in. It’s like, ‘You opened the window.’ ”

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