"Don't Worry Darling" is a psychological thriller that centers on a married couple, Jack and Alice, who live in an experimental commune funded by an outside company for which husband Jack works. Little by little, Alice realizes that her seemingly perfect life is actually not that perfect.
Directed by Olivia Wilde, known from "O.C. California" and "Dr. House". But the actual psychological thriller – as it turns out more and more clearly – took place behind the scenes. It all started in September 2020 when it was reported Harry Styles was replacing lead actor Shia LaBeouf in the project. LaBeouf was rumored to have been fired for his behavior. Clean man Styles took over - which resulted in the next headlines.
A short time later, entertainment media reported that Olivia Wilde and husband Jason Sudeikis were no longer a couple. After nine years of relationship, Wilde announced the separation from the father of her two children. A Hollywood love affair naturally causes whispers. But in January 2021, harmless whispering turned into a flood of reports: Paparazzi pictures showed Wilde and Harry Styles holding hands at a wedding.
Instead of being able to enjoy her new relationship in peace, Wilde was bombarded with hate mail. Styles' young fans in particular are known for their - let's say - fierce loyalty to the singer. Many did not like the fact that he was now with the filmmaker ten years his senior. Jason Sudeikis' fans, who accused Wilde of cheating on the "Ted Lasso" star, were similarly disgruntled.
In April of this year, Sudeikis himself reacted with what was no doubt a calculated step: he had Wilde hand over the divorce papers at a public promotional event for the film. In front of an audience. The shock of the actress and director was visible, but she quickly recovered herself and continued to present what her film project was about. "Unfortunately, that didn't come as a complete surprise to me. I mean, there's a reason I left this relationship," Wilde said in an interview with Variety.
Striking: While Wilde and Styles keep mentioning the film, Florence Pugh did not post anything about it on her social networks except for a short and emotionless post on August 11th. Not normal for the Marvel star, who otherwise likes to point out current projects. Even before filming began, Pugh took to Instagram to refer to Wilde as her "idol" and expressed her delight at being cast in a leading role. Since then: booming silence.
After Wilde's interview in Variety magazine, it became clear that there could be more to Pugh's reluctance than just a rejection of the relationship. In it, the director explained that she fired LaBeouf to create a mood on set that made Pugh and all women feel comfortable. LaBeouf has been accused of sexual violence by his ex-girlfriends. But Wilde may not have acted that protectively. Because after her interview was published, LaBeouf of all people turned to Wilde and the magazine and felt compelled to clarify things.
He made it clear that he was not fired but had resigned of his own accord. And as if that wasn't enough, he gave "Variety" a video that could confirm all Wilde critics. The short clip was subsequently posted on social media and went viral. "I feel like I'm not ready to give up on this yet, and my heart breaks too, and I want to find a solution," Wilde said, sitting behind the wheel of her car.
It's about LaBeouf's retirement from Don't Worry Darling. "You know, I think this could be a little wake-up call for Miss Flo, and I want to know if you're willing to give this thing with me, with us, a chance," she continues. "If she's really into it, if she's really putting her heart and mind into it and if you guys can make it up - and I respect your point of view, I respect hers - but if you make it, what do you think? Is there hope ?Will you let me know?"
It was not only Pugh's condescending term "Miss Flo" that caused consternation, but also the fact that Wilde apparently meant the truth flexibly. Following the recent scandal, Florence "Miss Flo" Pugh has let it be known that she only wants to promote "Don't Worry Darling" at the Venice Film Festival. It was said that she was too busy filming. After all the headlines about Wilde's film, probably very few people believe that. And so "Don't Worry Darling" became the most scandalous film of recent years - without anyone having seen it at all.
Sources: "Variety" / "Page Six"