Olivia Wilde Breaks Down Her On-Set ‘No Assholes’ Policy (Shia LaBeouf, We’re Looking at You)

Movie directors are notoriously quirky, and even crazy, when it comes to their behavior on a film set. Some are known for being vicious task-masters who make unthinkable demands of their actors while others fail to follow schedules or show up drunk. But Olivia Wilde, the actor who made her feature film directorial debut with Booksmart, and who is at the helm of the forthcoming thriller Don’t Worry Darling, is now known for her very sensible filming policy: no assholes on set.

This all came out during her participation in Variety’s “Directors on Directors” series. “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 in discussing how she works on set. “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.”

Wilde believes that a film set can be a nurturing place where she doesn’t need to remind anyone of her standing. “I don’t think anyone on a set has ever forgotten who’s in charge. It’s, in fact, an incredibly hierarchical system,” she said. “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.”

So she created the “no assholes” policy, which “puts everybody on the same level.” Though the use of the word “assholes” implies a general group of people, there’s actually just one dude in particular the policy was likely informed by. Variety reported that Shia LaBeouf, who was supposed to star in Don’t Worry Darling, “exhibited poor behavior and his style clashed with the cast and crew, including Wilde, who ultimately fired him” last year. He was replaced by Harry Styles, whom Wilde is now dating.

Lose an asshole, gain a love interest? Sounds like a fair swap to us.

Cover Photo: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / Contributor (Getty Images)

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