You should worry darling!!
A definitive timeline
Hi. It’s me. Let’s talk “Don’t Worry Darling.” For a lil background, check out this post I wrote in October.
Olivia Wilde! You may recognize her from “House” or “TRON: Legacy” or her remarkably strong jawline. She made big waves in 2019 with her directorial debut, “Booksmart,” a raunchy female-led teen blockbuster. It made a lot of money, people loved it, Wilde was hailed as a feminist hero for her women-centric movie. Later that year, Wilde was given her next project, a highly sought-after script for a movie called “Don’t Worry Darling.”
In 2020, it was announced that the movie would be lead by Shia Labeouf and Florence Pugh. Allegedly Wilde was originally supposed to direct and play Pugh’s role, but swapped out when Wilde decided she wanted a younger couple in the film. In September, Harry Styles was cast to replace Labeouf due to “filming conflicts” (more on that later).
Alright my friends, this is where things start to ramp up.
In early 2021, Wilde and Styles are spotted holding hands at the wedding of Styles’ manager.
This set Twitter on fire for a few reasons:
Wilde was previously in a longterm relationship with actor Jason Sudeikis (they have two kids together). It’s kind of unclear when the two of them split up, but it was recent enough that cheating rumors immediately started swirling around. This was also during the peak “Ted Lasso” era, so Sudeikis was soaking in his time as the internet’s boyfriend and people did not like the prospect of him being burned by his ex-partner.
Harry Styles still carries the baggage of being a former One Direction member, AKA he’s got a lot of young female stans. So anytime he’s in a relationship that naturally ruffles some feathers.
Wilde is 10 years older than Styles. They’re both consenting adults and it’s probably fine, but that coupled with the fact that she cast and is directing him in a movie, has a whiff of some iffy power dynamics.
Anyways, that’s that though. Their relationship continues, the Harry stans continue to attack Wilde, grasping at straws to find something to cancel her for, life moves on.
However, later in the year, rumors start to pop up about the mess that was the “Don’t Worry Darling” set. Rumors include: Pugh was paid significantly less than Styles, despite her being the lead in the movie. Wilde was too distracted by her relationship with Styles to actually direct the movie, so Pugh had to take over. Sudeikis would bring his and Wilde’s kids to set and would create this very weird dynamic as they had to face their mom’s new relationship. Pugh hates Wilde. Etc. There’s nothing really to substantiate these claims, but oh well.
OK, fast forward to like a month ago. “Don’t Worry Darling” is ready to go, the premiere is set for September.
Pugh, who normally is very vocal on social media (she’s done everything from shut down dating rumors, to getting candid about her body) and also goes hard on promo’ing her upcoming projects, is radio silent about “Don’t Worry Darling.” Wilde makes a nice post about her on Instagram, but Pugh doesn’t comment on it or like it.
And like, you can say “Well blah blah you’re reading too much into this, maybe she was just taking a break from social media,” but uhh yeah a bunch of stuff happens next.
It is now August, the movie is coming out in September, Pugh is on the cover of Harper’s Bazaar.
During the interview, she says this about the marketing of “Don’t Worry Darling”:
"When it's reduced to your sex scenes, or to watch the most famous man in the world go down on someone, it's not why we do it. It's not why I'm in this industry," Pugh tells BAZAAR. "Obviously, the nature of hiring the most famous pop star in the world, you're going to have conversations like that. That's just not what I'm going to be discussing because [this movie is] bigger and better than that. And the people who made it are bigger and better than that."
Nothing extremely damning but methinks there is a little salt in there…
Side tangent: In April of this year, Wilde was presenting "Don't Worry Darling"at CinemaCon in Las Vegas, when a man walked up to the stage and handed her an envelope. She was visibly confused, opened the envelope, peeked inside, closed it and then carried on. The next day, it was discovered that the envelope contained CUSTODY PAPERS FROM JASON SUDEIKIS. Sudeikis later claimed that it was not his intention for the papers to be given to her in that manner.
Back to the present, Styles is on the cover of Rolling Stone, and is quoted saying, "Can you imagine ... going on a second date with someone and being like, ‘OK, there’s this corner of the [internet], and they’re going to say this, and it’s going to be really crazy, and they’re going to be really mean, and it’s not real.… But anyway, what do you want to eat?’”
Wilde is also quoted in the story, saying this about Harry’s stans: “I don’t personally believe the hateful energy defines his fan base at all. The majority of them are true champions of kindness.”
Styles also like never references Olivia Wilde by name in the story, and says, “I don’t think I’ve publicly been with anyone. If someone takes a picture of you with someone, it doesn’t mean you’re choosing to have a public relationship or something.” Which idk is just like a little funny to me to just be so unwilling to confirm he does indeed have a girlfriend.
A few days later, Wilde gives an interview with Variety, in it saying:
On the Sudeikis custody papers incident: “But, you know, sadly, it was not something that was entirely surprising to me. I mean, there’s a reason I left that relationship.”
On “firing” Shia Labeouf from “Don’t Worry Darling” (despite earlier reports saying he left willingly): “His process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions. He has a process that, in some ways, seems to require a combative energy, and I don’t personally believe that is conducive to the best performances. I believe that creating a safe, trusting environment is the best way to get people to do their best work.” (It should also be noted that since 2020, Labeouf has been accused by a former partner of being abusive.)
On working with Harry Styles: “An absolute dream, and went above and beyond in terms of being prepared.”
On the alleged pay gap between Styles and Pugh: “The absurdity of invented clickbait and subsequent reaction regarding a nonexistent pay disparity between our lead and supporting actors really upset me.”
She says nothing more about the alleged “feud” with Pugh, but does praise her performance.
A new clip from “Don’t Worry Darling” drops, and based on Styles’ wildly inconsistent accent and acting abilities (or lackthereof), people really start to wonder if the whole movie is going to be a complete shitshow.
Then TODAY, Shia Labeouf emails Variety to tell them they got their story wrong. He wasn’t fired from “Don’t Worry Darling,” he quit. And he has texts and emails to prove that Wilde actually begged him to stay.
This is shocking for multiple reasons, as not only did Wilde lie about firing him, but it also makes pretty clear that she was trying to use that story to build her “feminist” clout, AKA I fired an abusive actor, everyone come watch my movie for having morals.
In the video, she also implies that Pugh wasn’t happy with things, and seems to sort of blame her for some of the animosity on set.
(I’ll also add that Labeouf is definitely using this whole situation to try to rehab his own reputation, which is shitty and he still needs to be held accountable for his past actions.)
Phew, anyways, I think that’s it, the Harry stans win this round. Thanks for coming along the ride, and catch “Don’t Worry Darling” in theaters Sept. 23!