Celebrities like Olivia Wilde show us just how important it is for women to break into industries that are typically male-dominated. She may be new to the world of directing films, but Wilde has wasted no time in establishing a strict policy for all of the members of her sets.
On a set run by Wilde, there are absolutely no… assholes… allowed.
About a month ago, Wilde sat down with fellow female director Emerald Fennell to take part in Variety’s “Directors on Directors” series. During the interview, Wilde explained her “no assholes policy” and how it came to be.
Wilde began her career as an actress, starring in numerous film productions. Some of the more notable films include “Tron: Legacy” (2010), “Cowboys and Aliens” (2011), “The Lazarus Effect” (2015) and “Meadowland” (2015). Her talent as an actress is undeniable, but Wilde always knew she also had a passion for directing.
Wilde developed her “no assholes policy” when she decided to start directing. The release of “Booksmart” in 2019 marked her directorial debut and kicked off the rest of her career.
The comedy film that told the story of two longtime best friends, Amy and Molly, and their wild adventures before graduating high school was an immediate success. Wilde’s experiences on set during the filming of “Booksmart” made her realize the way she believed every set should be run.
“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 says.
She aims to diminish the hierarchal system often present on sets. The director, the actors and the crew should be thought of as a single unit, working together during the filming process.
“If anything, I think we’d all benefit to sort of remove the hero narrative from that structure, and to acknowledge that a director is a sum of all these parts, that we have the opportunity to delegate to all these incredible people that we’ve asked to come on board,” Wilde says.
The “paradigm that has been created over the last 100 years” has made the film set a place of anxiety. Wilde wants to combat this negative development of the set atmosphere and ensure that every member on set feels comfortable and appreciated.
Wilde proved the legitimacy of her strict “no assholes policy” during the filming of her most recent production, “Don’t Worry Darling.”
Originally, Shia LaBeouf was set to play the role of Jack. However, in late December, it was revealed that Wilde noticed that he was not abiding by her “no assholes” rule and fired him.
She replaced LaBeouf with Harry Styles, who is set to star alongside renowned actors like Florence Pugh, Chris Pine, Gemma Chan and many more. I mean, we don’t think anyone is complaining about seeing Styles on the big screen.
“Don’t Worry Darling” is believed to be released towards the end of 2021 and we can’t wait.
Wilde has proven her strength as a director and as a woman in film. Hopefully, other directors can take inspiration from her rules on set and make all film sets a place of comfort and respect.
We think everyone should take a page out of Wilde’s book, and apply her policy to all aspects of life. No assholes allowed.