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Trying to Explain the “Don’t Worry Darling” Cast Drama

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Manhattan chapter.

By Chloe Barth

Trying is the key word here because it is a lot. From Florence Pugh skipping the press conference, to Olivia Wilde avoiding questions about her lead actress, to Harry Styles seemingly spitting on Chris Pine, the drama between the “Don’t Worry Darling” cast is wild, and this was all just at the Venice Film Festival. To understand how things got to this point, we have to go back to the beginning.

According to IMDB, “Don’t Worry Darling” is the story of a “1950s housewife living with her husband in a utopian experimental community [as she] begins to worry that his glamorous company could be hiding disturbing secrets.” The film stars Florence Pugh and Harry Styles as a married couple, along with Olivia Wilde, Chris Pine, and many others (who have managed to stay out of the drama). Issues between castmates date back to 2020. The film was originally set to star Shia LaBoeuf alongside Florence Pugh. By August of the same year, LaBoeuf was no longer a part of the film. While director/actress Olivia Wilde claims that she fired him in order to “protect” Florence Pugh and the environment on set, the actor maintains that he left of his own free will, namely because of a lack of rehearsal time.

In a turn of events, Pugh publicly criticized Wilde, rather than LaBoeuf, for her sexualization. The marketing for “Don’t Worry Darling” is heavily sexualized, containing two sex scenes in the official trailer alone. Pugh expressed discomfort with this marketing, saying 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.”

During filming, Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde were rumored to have been dating. Wilde allegedly became so wrapped up in this romance that Florence Pugh was left directing certain scenes herself. Wilde has not confirmed any of this information, and dodged all related questions at the Venice Film Festival. Although set to appear at the festival, Florence Pugh did not appear at the press conference beforehand. After Wilde insinuated that her absence was due to filming “Dune: Part Two,” Pugh finally arrived 15 minutes late in an all-purple outfit and an aperol spritz in hand. She and costars Nick Kroll and Chris Pine joked around taking pictures on the red carpet – becoming noticeably stiff once it was time for group pictures. Not only did Olivia Wilde and Florence Pugh maintain their distance, but Harry Styles also avoided the director after months of their rumored romance.

Styles is also a part of the most wild rumor of the night, which involves a confusing video in which he appears to spit on Chris Pine. The short clip shows Chris Pine, already sitting down, looking at his lap in surprise then cracking a smile as Styles sat down next to him. People were quick to conclude that Styles spit on Pine during this awkward exchange. However, @cinemazietgeist pointed out on Twitter that Chris Pine seemed to find his sunglasses at the moment when the singer sat down, which would explain the surprised look on his face. Pine’s representative vehemently denied the rumors that Harry Styles spit on him, and the singer joked about it at his “Love on Tour” show in New York. “I just popped very quickly to Venice to spit on Chris Pine,” he said to the audience.

Just as things started to die down, texts between Shia LaBoeuf and Florence Pugh were leaked. The texts show numerous conversations related to rehearsal schedules. The texts show no bad blood between the two, and corroborate LaBoeuf’s claims that Pugh was rarely available for rehearsals. This most recent turn of events occurs just a week before the film is set to premiere. “Don’t Worry Darling,” which will premiere in theaters on September 23, is one of the most talked about films of the year. If not for its content, all of the cast drama will certainly generate a sizable audience.

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Chloe Barth

Manhattan '24