The drama behind Olivia Wilde & Don’t Worry Darling


Matthew Dickman

Don’t Worry Darling was showing at the Regal theater in Dublin, California.

Matthew Dickman, Staff Writer

Olivia Wilde’s thriller Don’t Worry Darling released in theaters on Sep. 23, 2022. Though it boasts a cast including Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, and Chris Pine, the drama around the film has divided opinions. 

“I’m super excited for the film because the cast is incredibly talented. I’m excited to see what Olivia Wilde does with it because if it turns out terribly it would give a lasting impression, and it won’t help her in her directorial career,” said Head of the Amador Film Club Ritika Gupta(‘24).

In May 2022, outlets reported an alleged feud between the film’s director Olivia Wilde and the main star Florence Pugh. Rumors gained traction when fans noticed Pugh sparsely promoting the movie on social media and restricting her in-person press.  

“I have heard about the controversy surrounding the film, but I don’t think it affected my opinion. I know the cast is super talented. Florence Pugh is incredibly talented. I am hesitant about Harry Styles’ acting ability because I heard mixed reviews between his movies,” said Gupta.

Alleged insiders cite the relationship between Wilde and Pugh’s co-star Harry Styles as the reason for the feud. Styles and Wilde met during filming in late 2020, making their relationship public in Jan. 2021. Wilde had just split from 7-year fiance Jason Sudeikis in Nov. 2020. People don’t know Pugh’s exact feelings, but it is speculated she disapproved of it due to it distracting Wilde from the production or beginning as an affair. 

“I love Florence Pugh, but I am not a fan of Harry Styles. I think he is a queer baiter, and I do not like him. If his thing with the director started as an affair, I wouldn’t be surprised at all,” said Maggie Michaels (’24).

Another problem arose when Wilde claimed she fired actor Shia LaBeouf from her film due to him being “combative.” LaBeouf, claiming he quit the film due to scheduling, then released a video of Wilde where she seemingly begged him not to quit. In response, Wilde doubled down on her account in a Vanity Faire interview, saying she fired him to protect her cast, alluding to abuse allegations from LaBeouf’s ex-girlfriend in 2020. 

“If the director is lying and using him to make her look good, I am against it. Weaponizing abuse if you are not the victim is a bad thing to do, so I don’t support the director in this case,” said Michaels.

The film’s premiere at the Venice Film Festival attracted attention when attendees noticed Florence Pugh avoided interaction with Wilde the whole day. The obsession with drama from the press and fans at the event has caused many to question the importance of fixating on these aspects.

“I think that as soon as the movie releases, it will all blow over. I don’t think that the controversy is big enough to be incredibly long-lasting. I think as soon as people see it, they will either like it or don’t like it” said Gupta.

Though the full truth remains unknown, this film’s tensions have held public attention for months and it is unclear if or how this will affect the film’s short or long term success.