Olivia Wilde has a clear policy when directing movies: no ass—- allowed.
The actress-turned-director is now filming her second directorial project Don't Worry Darling, a thriller starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles. Though Shia LaBeouf was originally cast in Styles' role, PEOPLE recently confirmed that Wilde had fired him from the movie with Variety reporting that his attitude on set clashed with Wilde's policy.
In Variety's latest "Director on Director" series, Wilde chatted with Promising Young Woman director Emerald Fennell, a recent Golden Globe nominee, about her now-famous rule.
"The no ass—– policy, it puts everybody on the same level," Wilde, 36, explained. "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. 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."
Wilde came up with the rule after getting some questionable advice before directing her first movie, the critically-acclaimed 2019 comedy Booksmart.
"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," she explained. "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."
LaBeouf's firing was first reported by Variety in an article on the star's future following a lawsuit brought against him by ex-girlfriend FKA Twigs. According to the outlet, citing insiders close to the project, LaBeouf "exhibited poor behavior and his style clashed with the cast and crew," including Wilde, who ultimately fired him.
PEOPLE couldn't immediately reach a rep for LaBeouf.
On Dec. 11, FKA twigs, born Tahliah Debrett Barnett, filed a lawsuit against LaBeouf, accusing him of sexually and physically assaulting and battering her and knowingly giving her a sexually transmitted disease. The 32-year-old singer described several instances of physical abuse in the documents obtained by PEOPLE.
LaBeouf addressed the allegations in several emails to The New York Times, saying he was in no position "to tell anyone how my behavior made them feel."
"I have no excuses for my alcoholism or aggression, only rationalizations. I have been abusive to myself and everyone around me for years," he wrote to The Times. "I have a history of hurting the people closest to me. I'm ashamed of that history and am sorry to those I hurt. There is nothing else I can really say."
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