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Everything Behind the Scenes of Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling”

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Don’t Worry Darling is Olivia Wilde’s second project after her successful directorial debut with Booksmart (2019) and is one of the most highly anticipated films of 2022. It is set to release on Sept. 23 with a star-studded cast including Harry Styles, Florence Pugh, Olivia Wilde and Chris Pine in a fast-paced, psychologically-thrilling plotline.

Although highly anticipated, the publicity surrounding this film has suggested that not everyone is as excited for its release. Very little has been said from actors Harry Styles and Florence Pugh about the film, and rumors have suggested the pair are unhappy with the film, and perhaps even with each other. Now, let’s dive into everything that has been said about the behind the scenes happenings of Don’t Worry Darling.

On Jul. 21, the second trailer for the film was released, and both media outlets and fans responded very positively to it, building excitement for the film’s release. With Harry Styles as the male lead, his massive fanbase took to social media to express their opinions on the trailer, which helped the film to gain as much traction as it has. The ‘Harries,’ a term coined for fans of Harry Styles, shared glowing reviews for the preview of the film. Other than sharing the trailers and teasers to social media, Styles has made no comment on the film. Fans of Florence Pugh were equally as excited but noticed the actress’ lack of acknowledgement for the trailer’s release. In fact, she had said nothing at all and hadn’t shared any social media posts promoting the film, which was out of character for her. This caused Pugh’s fans to speculate if something caused her to choose silence over promotion, and rumors began to circulate that there was tension between Olivia Wilde and Florence Pugh.

In US Weekly, an insider source reported that “Florence and Olivia have had several disagreements personally and professionally, that’s why Florence isn’t doing any press for the movie.” This source’s reveal followed the news that Florence Pugh refused to do any press for the movie, the only exception being at the Venice Film Festival, where the film will premiere this weekend.

Many have speculated that Pugh’s conflicts were due to Wilde’s relationship with Harry Styles, which began during filming. Rumors circulated that Pugh had to take a seat in the director’s chair while Wilde was distracted with Styles. Another rumor speculated that there was a love triangle between the three, and other whispers began to spread that Styles was receiving three times the pay that Pugh was receiving, despite him having very little acting experience in comparison to the range and success Pugh has displayed through her acting endeavors. These rumors have not been officially confirmed or denied.

In an interview with Variety, Wilde spoke about the importance of “female pleasure,” “immediacy” and “extreme passion” in sex scenes, which was something she wanted portrayed in her film. However, in an interview with Harper’s Baazar, Pugh also commented on the sex scenes in Don’t Worry Darling, stating that “When it’s reduced to your sex scenes, or to watch the most famous man in the world go down on someone, it’s not why we do it. It’s not why I’m in this industry.” Pugh’s commentary was in response to the online reaction after seeing Harry Styles in a sex scene in the trailer for the film. Even after this reaction, Wilde continued to perpetuate the importance of sex in the film, and many have claimed she was being insincere and having this discussion just for the sake of publicity.

In the same interview with Variety, Wilde spoke about the change in casting from Shia Labeouf to Harry Styles, claiming that she fired Labeouf for the safety of her cast and crew, specifically Pugh, after his ex sued him for sexual battery. Labeouf later contacted Variety saying that he quit the film due to lack of rehearsal time and that Wilde was upset he would no longer be a part of the project, and even provided proof through emails and a series of text messages. A video was later released to Twitter showing Wilde pleading LaBeouf to stay on the film.

The video suggests that there is validity to Labeouf’s email and text message evidence.

It seems like there was some “wilde” tension behind the scenes of the upcoming film Don’t Worry Darling, and new rumors continue to circulate every day. The he-said-she-said tabloid headlines are gaining more traction than the promotion for the film and many are interested to see the effect this will have on the box office debut on Sept. 23. Wilde appears to be trying to disprove the negative headlines, but being caught in an apparent lie caused many fans and online presences to openly dislike her. Many rumors have surrounded this film, and few have been confirmed, leaving fans to wonder if the film’s drama will match that of its production. 

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Sophie Roguski is a Junior at Florida State University, majoring in International Affairs, with a minor in Hospitality Management. She loves romcoms, celebrity gossip, and has a strong desire to travel more.