What’s The Deal With All The Don’t Worry Darling Drama?

Why's everyone talking about a film no one's seen?

Don't Worry Darling

by Grazia Contributor |
Published on

Don’t Worry Darling, Olivia Wilde’s wildly anticipated thriller starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles, hasn’t enjoyed the smoothest journey from set to screen.

Online, we can’t move for memes and headlines fuelling rumours of cast fallouts and drama.

So what happened? The film’s trailers teased a smart, stylish and woozy mystery flick set in 1950s Palm Springs, where a sharp-suited Harry and Chris Pine and their Stepford-esque wives(Florence and Olivia) work for the enigmatic all-male Victory project.

Yet, after Booksmart director Olivia posted a gushing BTS snap of Florence onset, TikTokers noted that Florence shared hardly anything about the film, prompting theories that Florence was unhappy with Harry and Olivia’s budding romance (fanned by The New York Post’s gossip site Page Six). The director was still married to Jason Sudeikis, although the two were reportedly separated.

Then, in an August interview, Florence told Harper's Bazaarthat she was uncomfortable that marketing for Don’t Worry Darling had been reduced to teasing steamy sex scenes between her and Harry – '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,' she said. This was the exact opposite of what Olivia had told Vogue, saying that she hoped the audience would 'realise how rarely they see female hunger, and specifically this type of female pleasure.' There were also allegations Harry was being paid three times more than Florence (flatly denied by Olivia). And there is also the small matter of Harry's wayward accent.

Those rumours of trouble intensified after Olivia suggested Florence may need a 'wake-up call' in a video that leaked online this month.

The video was leaked after Shia LaBeouf – yes, really – rejected Olivia's claim that he had been fired from the project, and indeed in said leaked footage Olivia can be heard encouraging Shia to stay signed on to the film, rather than leave it, while also hinting at some apparent beef with ‘Miss Flo’. (Shia was attached to Don’t Worry Darling when it looked like Harry, Olivia’s first choice for the part, wouldn’t be able to make the shoot dates owing to his world tour commitments.)

It’s been alleged that Florence has even been reluctant to do press for the film in the run up to its world premiere in Venice. Indeed, she’s missing Monday’s pressers in Venice, although she will walk the red carpet – and the official line is that she’s flying in late due to filming commitments to the second part of Denis Villeneuve’s sci-fi franchise Dune.

Poor Olivia. A journalist asked her about the reports during Monday's press conference, which was also attended by Harry and his co-stars Chris Pine and Gemma Chan.

'Can you just clear the air and address whether there has been a falling out there and if so why, because it's something that people are discussing?' the reporter asked. Olivia responded: 'Florence is a force and we are so grateful that she is able to make it tonight despite being in production on Dune.

'I know as a director how disruptive it is to lose an actor even for a day so I'm very grateful to her and Denis Villeneuve for helping us – we're really thrilled we'll get to celebrate her work tonight.'

She continued: 'I can't say enough how honoured I am to have her as our lead. She's amazing in the film and as for all the endless tabloid gossip and all the noise out there, I mean, the internet feeds itself. I don't feel the need to contribute, I think it's sufficiently well nourished.'

Last month Wilde gave an interview to Varietyin which she said Shia's process was 'not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions' after the role was ultimately recast and given to her now-boyfriend Harry.

In response, Shia refuted the implication he was fired in emails to Variety, alleging a lack of rehearsal time has caused him to quit. A recording of Olivia trying to coax Shia back to the project was also leaked. The internet quickly turned on Olivia.

It’s more than a little uncomfortable to think that Shia is getting the upper hand in this one. Lest we forget, months after he left Don’t Worry Darling, his ex-girlfriend FKA Twigs sued him for sexual battery. (The lawsuit goes to trial in April.) The next month, Shia split from his agency, CAA, and entered an inpatient facility. ‘A lot came to light after this happened that really troubled me, in terms of his behaviour,’ Olivia has said.

Even without Florence doing press, the film has – clearly – got everybody talking. They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity. We, the people, won’t get to watch it until 23 September. So, pass the popcorn, sit tight, and let’s wait for those reviews.

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