All the Beef Surrounding Olivia Wilde, Florence Pugh and Harry Styles on ‘Don’t Worry Darling’

Olivia Wilde’s highly anticipated ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ – her second film as director, following 2019’s ‘Booksmart’ – stars Oscar-nominated Florence Pugh and singer Harry Styles in her first starring role At the movie theater. The period drama and sci-fi thriller is set to make its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on September 5 before a theatrical release on September 23, as the fall awards season gathers pace.

But what’s happening behind the scenes has generated inordinate media attention and internet speculation, with fans and social media watchers alike sparing no effort and pondering every nugget of information. Among the plot areas: While neither has commented on it publiclyWilde and Styles reportedly started dating end of 2020during the production of the film.

Much of the drama surrounding the film came to a head this week due to a Varietal profile of Wilde, in which she spoke for the first time about some of the main titles. If you’ve had trouble piecing together the various threads and keeping up with the amount of detail and players – with some tangent to the movie itself – here’s what’s happened so far.

Harry Styles and Florence Pugh in “Don’t Worry Darling”, directed by Olivia Wilde.

Shia Labeouf

Shia LaBeouf was originally cast in the film in early 2020, but Styles replaced him in the fall, shortly before production on the film began.

In December 2020, LaBeouf’s former partner FKA Twigs sued him for assault and sexual assault, accusing him of physical, mental and emotional abuse. The case is currently pending. LaBeouf – who has a long and public history of physical and verbal altercations, with a judge once ordering him to attend anger management separated from his agency and began an inpatient rehabilitation program.

Warner Bros., which distributes “Don’t Worry Darling,” initially said LaBeouf couldn’t make the film due to a scheduling conflict. However, in this week’s Variety profile, Wilde said that she fired the actordescribing how his “fighting energy” didn’t work for the film.

“I say this as someone who is such an admirer of his work. His process was not conducive to the philosophy that I demand in my productions,” Wilde told Variety.

“A lot of things came out…it really troubled me, behavior-wise,” the director continued.. “For our film, what we really needed was an incredibly supportive energy. Especially with a film like this, I knew I was going to ask Florence to be in very vulnerable situations, and my priority was for her to feel safe and supported.

LaBeouf takes issue with the nature of his exit from the film. In an email to HuffPost, sent early Thursday in response to Wilde’s Variety interview, LaBeouf wrote, “I was never fired from “Don’t Worry Darling”. I stopped the film for lack of rehearsal time.

LaBeouf also attached a forwarded email he said he sent to Wilde this week, imploring him to “correct the narrative as best you can,” and attached text messages that appear to be from August 2020, in which the two were discussing his exit from the film. .

“What inspired this email today is your latest Variety story. I’m so honored by your words about my work; thank you, it’s good to read you. I’m a little confused as to the story I was fired, however. You and I know the reasons for my exit. I left your film because your actors and I couldn’t find time to rehearse,” LaBeouf’s email to Wilde said. .

“I know you’re starting your press run for DWD [“Don’t Worry Darling”] and that the news of my dismissal is attractive bait, as I am still persona-non-grata and could remain so for the rest of my life,” the forwarded email said.

“My failures with Twigs are fundamental and real, but they are not the narrative that was presented. There is a time and a place to deal with such things, and I try to navigate a nuanced situation with respect for her and the truth, hence my silence. But this situation with your film and my “firing” will never have a court date with which to deal with the facts. If the lies are repeated enough in public, they become the truth. And so, it is all the more difficult for me to get out of the hole that I dug with my behaviors, to be able to provide for the needs of my family, ”he continued.

“Firing me never happened, Olivia. And while I fully understand the appeal of pushing this story because of the current social landscape, the social currency it brings. That’s not the truth. So I humbly ask, as someone who cares about getting it right, that you correct the narrative as best you can. I hope none of this will affect you negatively and your movie will be a success [sic] in any way you want it to be.

A rep for Wilde declined to comment on LaBeouf’s remarks.

Florence Poug

Social media speculation has swirled around an alleged feud between Pugh and Wilde, based on the impression that Pugh has barely promoted the film on social media — with some observers focusing on the fact that she didn’t hit “like” Wilde’s Instagram post on trailer for the movie or a following praising Pugh’s work. A Story from page six about Pugh challenging Wilde and Styles’ on-set relationship also sparked intrigue.

The two women also expressed differing opinions about the film’s sex scenes. Wilde described the film as an innovation to center female pleasure, and throughout the film’s promotion discussed his philosophy on the portrayal of sex onscreen. On the other hand, in a Harper’s Bazaar profile published earlier this month, Pugh suggested that the film’s marketing had placed too much emphasis on sex.

“When it comes down to your sex scenes, or watching the most famous man in the world go down on someone, that’s not what we’re doing it for. That’s not the reason for which I am in this industry,” Pugh told Harper’s Bazaar. “Obviously the nature of hiring the most famous pop star in the world, you’re going to have conversations like that. It’s just not what I’m going to discuss because [this movie is] bigger and better than that.

Neither Pugh nor Wilde has publicly commented on the speculated feud. In his interview with Variety, Wilde praised Pugh’s performance. She also denied allegations of a pay gap between Pugh and Styles. Meanwhile, Pugh’s publicist says the ‘Little Women’ and ‘Midsommar’ star is busy filming ‘Dune: Part Two’ in Hungary.

Jason Sudeikis

The “Don’t Worry Darling” promotion also became embroiled in Wilde’s custody battle with former partner Jason Sudeikis over their two children. When Wilde was presenting on the film at CinemaCon in April, a Sudeikis representative served his custody papers on stage.

At the time, a rep for Sudeikis told HuffPost that the ‘Ted Lasso’ star “had no prior knowledge of when or where the envelope would have been delivered, as it would only depend on the process service company involved and he would never tolerate her being served in such an inappropriate manner.

Wilde at CinemaCon 2022 in April, holding an envelope with custody papers.
Wilde at CinemaCon 2022 in April, holding an envelope with custody papers.

According to a court filing obtained by the Daily Mail earlier that month, Wilde later said Sudeikis’ actions “were clearly intended to threaten me and catch me off guard”.

“He could have served me quietly, but instead he chose to serve me as aggressively as possible,” she reportedly said in the court filing. “Having Jason embarrass me professionally and expose our personal conflict in this way is extremely contrary to the best interests of our children.”

Sudeikis said the whole situation was due to a series of incidents, according to the Daily Mail. “I deeply regret what happened,” he said in the documents.

In the interview with Variety, Wilde also described the incident as “attacking” and “really upsetting,” adding that she “hated that this naughtiness was distracting” from the movie.

“Trying to sabotage this was really vicious. But I had a job to do; I’m not easily distracted,” she told Variety. “But, you know, unfortunately, it wasn’t something that completely surprised me. I mean, there’s a reason why I left that relationship.


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