Olivia Wilde dropped a few expletives to address the various scandals swirling around her new film, “Don’t Worry Darling,” and her romance with Harry Styles, including denying rumors that she began an affair with the pop singer, the film’s leading man, while she was still engaged to Jason Sudeikis.
Wilde’s comments came in a new Vanity Fair profile published Thursday, with the interview taking place in late July, as. the media storm gathered in the lead-up to “Don’t Worry Darling’s” gala premiere this week at the Venice Film Festival.
In response to speculation that she was unfaithful to Sudeikis, her longtime partner, the 38-year-old director insisted that their “relationship was over long before” meeting Styles on the set of “Don’t Worry Darling.”
“The complete (expletive) idea that I left Jason for Harry is completely inaccurate,” Wilde said. She and Sudeikis share two young children together, Daisy and Otis.
Vanity Fair noted that Wilde’s split from Sudeikis was initially friendly, but the timeline of their breakup has become a point of public contention. Last year, Sudeikis told GQ that the relationship ended in November 2020, about a month after filming for her “Stepford Wives”-like sci-fi thriller co-starring Florence Pugh, began in Los Angeles.
Two months after her relationship with Sudeikis ended, per Sudeikis’ timeline, Wilde was photographed holding Styles’ hand at a friend’s wedding in Santa Barbara. People across the internet took Sudeikis’ timeline to be the “Ted Lasso” star’s way of suggesting that the relationships overlapped, Vanity Fair said.
“Our relationship was over long before I met Harry,” Wilde said. “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.”
Wilde also doubled down on some critical statements she made about Sudeikis in an earlier interview by discussing the surprising moment at CinemaCon in April when someone working on behalf his legal team served her with child custody documents when she was onstage at the industry event, about to promote “Don’t Worry Darling.”
In the interview with Variety, Wilde accused Sudeikis of trying to undermine her film by having her served in such a public way. She also told Variety that there was a “reason” she left the relationship. This comment was criticized by some, including industry expert Matthew Belloni, as being unnecessarily disparaging and not useful for a director trying to keep the attention focused on her new movie, not on her personal life.
A source close to Sudeikis told Vanity Fair that the actor had not known when or where the papers would be served and would never condone such a turn of events, but Wilde said she suspects Sudeikis orchestrated the stunt “to disrupt” her big moment.
“So many people were shocked on my behalf,” Wilde told Vanity Fair. “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.”
Whatever happened at CinemaCon, reports have said that Wilde’s romance with Styles was disruptive in other ways, notably during the production of her film.
In July, Page Six reported that Pugh was angry about seeing Wilde and the pop artist “all over each other on set.” The reason was that Wilde was still in a relationship with Sudeikis.
“I can tell you for a fact that Flo seeing Olivia and Harry all over each other on set did not go down well as Olivia was still with Jason when she first hooked up with Harry,” one insider told Page Six, referring to the “Saturday Night Live” alum.
Belloni also reported that Wilde’s focus on her new boyfriend bothered others on set because the couple weren’t always available when they needed to be. There also were rumors that Pugh and/or the cinematographer had to step in to direct some scenes.
In a response to Vanity Fair’s questions about these rumors, Wilde first expressed dismay about how women in power unfairly face scrutiny for their professional conduct.
“It is ironic that now, with my second film — which is again about the incredible power of women, what we’re capable of when we unite, and how easy it is to strip a woman of power by using other women to judge and shame them — we’re talking about this,” Wilde said.
She continued: “The idea that I had five seconds in the day to be distracted by anything is laughable. I was there before everyone. I was there after everyone. And it was a dream. It’s not like this work was not enjoyable. It was just all-encompassing.”