In a recent Variety cover story, Wilde, 38, acknowledged she was originally intended to play the movie’s star, Alice, but instead to cast Oscar contender Pugh, 26.
Wilde had seen her in the 2019 movie Midsommar, where she demonstrated her acting prowess. She had “blown the f—- away,” as Wilde put it. “I adored her more than I adored the movie. Simply put, I thought, “Well, she’s extraordinary.” She is undoubtedly the most intriguing young actress active today.
“There was something about the freshness and purity that really made sense for the plot,” she continued. If I were Alice, I would have thought, “Well, now that we are in a different age range, I’m going to be with a Jack who is my age or older.
Wilde also addressed allegations of the actors in the movie, adding that the cast was “drawn so close by the bubble of the production.”
After the movie’s release date was revealed, there were rumors that 28-year-old Harry Styles, who is presently dating Wilde and plays a supporting part as Alice’s husband, Jack, in the movie, had received three times the pay as Pugh. That claim was refuted by Wilde, who referred to all bogus narratives as “clickbait.”
She informed Variety, “I generally ignore a lot of what is going on out there. But what really infuriated me was the silliness of contrived content and the ensuing outrage about a nonexistent wage gap between our lead and supporting performers.”
Added Wilde, “I’ve worked in this industry as a woman for more than 20 years, and as a director, in particular, I’ve fought for both myself and other women. Those assertions have no basis in reality.”