“Don’t Worry Darling” recent drama has America worrying


Credit: Alyssa Ao

WSPN’s Sophia Oppenheim discusses the drama and rumors circulating around the new movie, “Don’t Worry Darling.”

Sophia Oppenheim

Picture the Venice Film Festival, an event where actors starring in world-class films gather, premiering their movies and walking the red carpet. Such a prestigious event should be running smoothly; however, this year’s festival was overshadowed with drama revolving around the new film “Don’t Worry Darling,” starring Harry Styles and directed by Olivia Wilde. Did Styles really spit on Chris Pine? And what is going on between Wilde and “Miss Flo?”

This year, the 79th annual event took place in Lido di Venezia, a small Italian island. Actors that starred in movies like “The Whale,” “Blonde,” “Bones and All,” “White Noise,” and “Don’t Worry Darling” were in attendance. The actors walked the red carpet and there were a few movie premieres. Among those, “Don’t Worry Darling” which featured Harry Styles, Florence Pugh, Chris Pine, Gemma Chan got a huge amount of feedback. The movie production started in 2020, and the cast created a two hour thriller set in the 1950s. And while Wilde tried to bring together a cast whose roles would perfectly fit together, she seemed to build a cast that completely clashed.

The filming for “Don’t Worry Darling” started in October 2020. Before the main character role of Jack Chambers was given to Styles, Shia LaBeouf was playing the part. However, after disagreements on set, LaBeouf was apparently fired. Yet, recent information came out revealing that LaBeouf actually chose to leave the set. Wilde sent a video to Labeouf where she essentially begs him to come back to the film. The video is of Wilde asking LaBeouf to help her figure out this situation and that she “doesn’t want to give up on this yet”. So, what I am seeing is that LaBeouf chose to leave the film rather than being fired by Wilde.

I think that if it is true, and that Wilde lied about LaBeouf’s exit from the film, then the film has been on rocky ground since the start. However, the reasoning behind Wilde going live and saying that she did in fact fire LaBeouf makes sense. Soon after Wilde hired him, LaBeouf was accused of verbally and physically abusing his ex-girlfriend, singer-songwriter, FKA Twigs. Either way, Wilde shouldn’t have lied, and I am glad that Harry Styles took LaBeouf’s role instead.

So, what else did the video sent to LaBeouf capture of Wilde? Wilde refers to the female lead of the film, Florence Pugh, as “Miss Flo.” Some might see this as an endearing term, but when the video hit the media, the general public thought otherwise. There has been speculation about Wilde and Pugh’s relationship and all signs point to it being a bad one. The first sign of their disputes was the infamous video. Even while Wilde was praising Pugh, Pugh failed to post anything related to the film, other than the trailer, on any social media until she arrived at the festival. I personally found this odd. If I were in a movie, I would want to promote it.

Other actors in the film, including Styles, posted about the movie repeatedly to help it gain traction in the media. Pugh also did not show up to the first day of the film festival, which seemed odd and out of character for the leading role. She even missed the press conference. However, it is said that this was pre-planned as she was still working on her other movie, “Dune: Part II.” Regardless, it is still abnormal that she did not make an effort to come 24 hours earlier to attend the press conference.

As for the rest of the cast that was at the press conference, the tensions were incredibly high. Wilde and Styles have publicly stated that the two are in a romantic relationship together. Only a month after Styles started to work on set, Wilde and her ex-partner, Jason Sudeikis, split, and Styles and Wilde publicly stated that they were in a romantic relationship. Since then, Wilde and Styles have stayed out of the spotlight, but have certainly not hidden from it. They have been spotted together multiple times. The public knows they are together, and they know the public knows. However, the couple barely interacted with each other at the festival and fans around the world were left confused. The two stayed apart from each other for the entirety of the event and arrived in separate boats. Furthermore, the couple was separated in each photo, and even though the cast all sat together, the two practically ignored each other.

Impressively, the movie received a five minute standing ovation at its premiere. The drama wasn’t done, though. Styles was accused of spitting on Chris Pine’s lap. While many are still sticking with their gut by claiming that Styles truly did spit on Pine’s lap, I am completely against the rumors. I will admit, in the video it does look like Styles is spitting on Pine as he takes his seat next to him at the premiere; however, I do not think that Styles would ever spit on anyone no matter the circumstances between them. Styles has been trained on how to deal with the media since he was 16 years old and I do not think that he would ever do something that could bring negative attention to him. A representative for Chris Pine also came out and spoke, saying that this never happened. Additionally, at Styles’ first show back in New York after the film festival, he made a joke out of the situation, saying, “I just popped very quickly to Venice to spit on Chris Pine.”

The drama that has come with this film is unmatched. I don’t think I have ever seen something like this before in the movie industry. Even though hearing about the drama is fun, I am concerned about how the publicity of this movie could change the careers of every actor involved.

While I love Styles, his role in the movie probably shouldn’t have been given to him. I think he brought too much publicity to the film. His completely devoted followers ultimately caused tensions to be at an extreme high. I am scared for what audiences are going to be like after the film’s release. Will they continue to bash it or is it just internet speculation? Could this be detrimental to the amount of money the film makes? We will have to wait and see. “Don’t Worry Darling” officially released on Sept. 26. I am equally excited to see the movie myself as I am to hear how the rest of the world feels.