Olivia Wilde Explained Her Nice-People-Only Policy After Firing Shia LaBeouf
Variety's "Directors on Directors" series usually has Hollywood's biggest names talking about the best advice they've ever gotten, but Olivia Wilde talked about a time she went against some advice — and how it's made her a better director. In a conversation with The Crown's Emerald Fennell, Wilde explained that she instituted a strict "no assholes" policy after having to deal with Shia LaBeouf.
Wilde famously fired LaBeouf from her film Don't Worry Darling and replaced him with Harry Styles. In a previous report, Variety noted that LaBeouf "displayed poor behavior and his style clashed with the cast and crew."
"He is not an easy guy to work with," a source said, sharing Wilde's "zero asshole policy." LaBeouf was slated to play Florence Pugh's husband in the film. He left the project in September 2020.
Wilde told Fennell that she was told that arguments could actually help a production, but she chose to ignore that advice.
"Someone, who's a very established actor and director in this industry, gave me really terrible advice that was helpful, because I just knew I had to do the opposite," Wilde said. "They said, 'Listen, the way to get respect on a set, you have to have three arguments a day. Three big arguments that reinstate your power, remind everyone who's in charge, be the predator.' That is the opposite of my process. And I want none of that."
She went on to explain that her policy makes everyone equal, from the actors to the crew, and that level playing field helps everyone. Unlike projects she worked on in the past, she says that she wants her actors to talk to the crew and learn from them.
"The no assholes policy, it puts everybody on the same level. I also noticed as an actress for years how the hierarchy of the set separated the actors from the crew in this very strange way that serves no one," she continued. "I think actors would actually like to know more about what's happening there when you're pulling my focus? What is that lens change? But the idea of, don't bother the actors and keep them separate, and don't look at them. I think it makes everyone quite anxious."
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