The Film Might be Bad, but the Drama is Good.
by Julia Salazar
Olivia Wilde’s Film “Don’t Worry Darling,” set to be released on September 23 of this year, was heavily anticipated by many internet users across the country largely due to the many controversies said to have happened behind the scenes.
“At this point, I don’t even want to see Don’t Worry Darling,” said Twitter user @marls_barkley, “I want to see a whole documentary-style exposé on all the drama surrounding it.”
Fans were already buzzing about the film “Don’t Worry Darling” due to its star-studded cast – Harry Styles, a world-famous singer, and Florence Pugh, an academy nominee actress, being the two main characters. After it was announced that Styles was to replace Shia LaBeouf in “Don’t Worry Darling,” rumors surrounding Styles, Pugh, and Wilde very quickly emerged behind the scenes.
Controversy began one month after filming in October 2020, when Wilde divorced her long-time fiancé Jason Sudekis, with whom she had two children. Dating rumors between Wilde and Styles sparked shortly after in January 2021 when they were seen holding hands at a friend’s wedding.
This rumor alone did not have the internet watching the cast closely, although Styles’ fans did share a large amount of criticism towards their relationship. The cast was left relatively unharmed by the media when filming wrapped in February 2021. It was during the promotional period that things started to go downhill quickly.
From photos backing the alleged relationship between Styles and Wilde, an alleged feud between Wilde and Pugh, and genuine criticism of what little was released of the film at this point, the behind-the-scenes of the film began to look a lot more interesting than the film itself.
Wilde recently took part in a feature with Variety, where she spoke about her experience directing “Don’t Worry Darling,” working with the actors on the film, and addressed a few of the rumors circling the internet. Although she didn’t directly address the alleged feud with Pugh she comments on the special attention media gives to women.
“Escapism is really a very human quality…” said Wilde “… I don’t blame people for seeking escapism, but I think the tabloid media is a tool to pit women against one another and to shame them.”
In that same article, it’s stated that LaBeouf was actually fired from the film despite the studio’s claim of it being a scheduling conflict. LaBeouf was quick to retaliate, which further fueled the current hate train built against Wilde, and helped to maintain a close watch on anything and everything to do with “Don’t Worry Darling.”
LaBeouf claimed to have quit the film and provided photos of text message conversations with Wilde and a video of Wilde begging him to consider returning to the film. The video not only coined the not-so-loving nickname Miss Flo for Pugh but provided proof that Wilde was not honest about LaBeouf’s departure from “Don’t Worry Darling.”
The Venice Film Festival occurred this past week on September 5th where it was initially thought that Pugh would not be able to attend due to scheduling conflicts. She promptly landed in Venice in the midst of the press conference for “Don’t Worry Darling,” later showing up for the red carpet where she avoided interaction with Styles and Wilde.
The film received a 6-minute standing ovation from the crowd but was scored at 42% on Rotten Tomatoes as of September 11th, 2022 along with critics who claimed Pugh’s performance was the only saving grace. If the feuds, the romance, and the controversies were just a marketing ploy to garner attention for the film, it certainly worked.
“This is honestly the best marketing I’ve ever seen,” said TikTok user bekah.lo, “I’m not really a movie watcher but I definitely want to see this one.”
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