Olivia Wilde (Photo: Greg Doherty via Getty Images)
Olivia Wilde has spoken out over reports that Harry Styles was paid more than three times as much as Florence Pugh for his work on Don’t Worry Darling, despite the latter receiving top billing.
The actor and director is currently gearing up for the release of her new thriller, which stars Harry and Florence as a married couple in the 1950s living a seemingly perfect life in the suburbs together.
Earlier this month, it was reported by Showbiz Galore that Florence had received $700,000 (around £593,000) for her work on the film, with the outlet also claiming Harry was paid $2.5 million (£2.12 million).
This pay disparity quickly went viral, particularly as Florence is an Oscar nominee with years of experience, while Harry had only one film credit to his name when he signed up for Don’t Worry Darling
However, in a new interview with Variety, Olivia insisted these reports were completely inaccurate.
Harry Styles (Photo: Dia Dipasupil via Getty Images)
“There has been a lot out there that I largely don’t pay attention to,” she said. “But the absurdity of invented clickbait and subsequent reaction regarding a nonexistent pay disparity between our lead and supporting actors really upset me.
“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.”
There has also been speculation online of a supposed feud between Olivia and Florence, which Page Six has claimed was sparked by the Little Women star being “unhappy” about the director’s romantic relationship with Harry.
Variety noted that neither party has “bothered to comment on the tabloid-driven feud”, with Olivia praising the actor throughout the interview.
She said: “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.”
Florence Pugh (Photo: JEAN-BAPTISTE LACROIX via Getty Images)
On first seeing Florence in action in Midsommar, Olivia added: “I had been blown the fuck away by her. 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.’.”
Variety noted that Florence “declined to be interviewed” for their story, with her publicist telling the outlet she is currently filming the sequel to Dune in Budapest.
In an interview this week, Florence said she would not be commenting publicly on filming sex scenes with Harry in Don’t Worry Darling, telling Harper’s Bazaar: “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.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Olivia has been keen to highlight the importance of female pleasure within the film’s intimate moments.
“It’s all about immediacy and extreme passion for one another,” she told Variety. “The impractical nature of their sex speaks to their ferocious desire for one another.
“I think it’s integral to the story itself and how the audience is meant to connect to them. My early conversations with the cast were all about how the audience has to buy into the fantasy.”
Don’t Worry Darling also co-stars Gemma Chan, Chris Pine and Nick Kroll.
The film hits cinemas in the UK on 23 September.
This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.