Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Culture > Entertainment

The “Don’t Worry, Darling” Drama from an Actor’s POV

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

Everyone is talking about the drama surrounding Olivia Wilde’s upcoming film “Don’t Worry Darling” starring Florence Pugh, Harry Styles and Chris Pine. It has basically become the marketing strategy that no one planned on. Basically, there has been a rumored feud between Wilde and Pugh. This is also made more complicated because Style and Wilde are currently dating. Memes have chronicled how Pine is the unofficial mediator, seen standing between Wilde and Pugh on the Venice Film Festival carpet at the film’s premiere and sitting between Wilde and Styles at the screening, who are rumored to be having relationship issues. Pine has also had an endlessly meme’d interview with Styles. Now, while all of this is very entertaining, as an actor who hopes to one day walk the carpet of the Venice Film festival to celebrate a film I worked incredibly hard on, it does bring up some frustration I have with how the media reports on actors. 

Pugh has expressed her discomfort with how much of a spectacle her sex scenes in the Don’t Worry Darling trailer have caused on multiple occasions. She has said that sex scenes are “not why I’m in this industry.” This is completely understandable, as a woman and an actress. It belittles your talent and is undoubtedly uncomfortable. Pugh is currently working on the sequel film to the Dune franchise, a big-budget film that requires long hours and a lot of prep. Has it occurred to anyone that the media’s disgusting fascination with sex scenes and her commitments to a different film is the reason she isn’t doing press for the movie? Not some rumored feud that has yet to be confirmed. Pugh has proved on numerous occasions that she has no problem calling out the media’s mistreatment of her, a perfect example of this is her calling out haters for their response to her past relationship with Zach Braff. Don’t you think she would combat these rumors if she could? 

Wilde has expressed how important the sex scenes are to the story and shows the idealistic fantasy of Victory, the location in the film. She states that female hunger and female pleasure are rarely shown on-screen, and these scenes are meant to show how passionate the relationship between Pugh and Styles’ characters is. However, many who have viewed the film say that this isn’t the case. That their relationship is merely about how good the sex is doesn’t seem to fulfill the revolutionary ideals and precedents that Wilde was hoping Don’t Worry Darling would set.

Styles is a musician. And while, due to filming music videos and their charismatic, theatrical stage presence, musicians often do make decent actors, it’s clear that Styles isn’t trained. He’s still learning how to act and how to promote a film instead of an album or song. Now, memes are all in good fun, and obviously “my favorite part of the movie is that it’s a movie” is golden meme material, but it’s obvious that he’s still learning the ropes, and that shouldn’t be ridiculed. New actors aren’t ridiculed, so why should an established famous person who is new at acting be?

Styles has also been nitpicked online for actively avoiding his girlfriend, Wilde, while promoting the film. Between having Pine sit between them to not posing together on the red carpet, people have assumed that’s him showing his loyalty to his co-star Pugh rather than his girlfriend Wilde. However, has anyone ever considered that that’s because he and Wilde have decided to keep their relationship professional while promoting the film they made together, one where the power dynamic is untraditional because Wilde, the woman in their relationship, is the director? Maybe it’s easier for them to be professional if they aren’t standing next to each other. That way there’s no instinct for them to hold hands or do couple things. Or maybe they do have issues? But honestly, it’s none of our business. Of course, it’s intriguing, but it really isn’t our business if they are having trouble or not.

The main reason rumors are swirling is because of Pugh and Wilde’s alleged feud, which started when Pugh expressed her discomfort with acting opposite Shia LeBeouf, who was originally cast in Styles’ role. LeBeouf is an alleged sexual assaulter, so it makes sense, but why would Wilde, a self-proclaimed feminist and actor, put her female lead in that position? Wilde and Styles’ relationship has also been rumored to have started as an on-set affair, even though she was engaged to Jason Sudeikis at the time. Pugh could express feelings of favoritism, though none of that is confirmed. Wilde has attempted to debunk much of this, mainly that Styles and her had an affair while she was with Sudeikis

And then there is the Pine of it all, between an alleged spit from Styles, which is the weirdest part of all of this chaos, to his memeable eye rolls at the press conference. Then there is the fact that he, a film veteran who has studied the craft thoroughly at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco, had to sit through Styles’ “my favorite part of the movie is that it’s a movie” speech. 

It also does a disservice not to mention how sexist this media storm is. Conflict rumors like this don’t come from films directed by men, but Olivia Wilde, the film’s director, is a woman. And as the patriarchy tells us, women can’t ever get along. Wilde says this in her interview with Stephen Colbert. This media mess is undeniably misogynistic.

Anyway, this mess is a film marketer’s dream come true. The free publicity is uncanny. However, it’s also problematic and just shows the toxicity of media in Hollywood, especially for its women, hasn’t improved since the era of Britney Spears and Marilyn Monroe. It’s still as brutal and twisted as ever. So, next time your Twitter feed is filled with media-fueled beef between actors, especially female actors, sure be entertained by it but don’t take it for the gospel. Keep in mind that the situation isn’t black and white like the media wants to force us to believe. Like more conflicts in life, it has many layers of gray.

Hello! My name is Sami Gotskind! I'm from Chicago and graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Acting and Journalism. I also working on getting a certificate in Fashion Styling from the Fashion Institute of Technology. I was a writer for Her Campus KU from 2020 to 2022 and for Her Campus Nationals since 2021. I was also the Writing Director for Her Campus KU in 2022. I love film, TV, fashion, pop culture, history, music, and feminism. My friends describe me as an old soul, an avid Euphoria fan, a fashion icon, a Swiftie, an Audrey Hepburn-Blair Waldorf fanatic, a future New Yorker, and a Gossip Girl historian. Look out for me on your TV screens in the near future! Thank you for reading my articles!