On Sept. 23, the thriller/horror film “Don’t Worry Darling” starring Harry Styles and Florence Pugh was released in theaters across the nation.
Directed by Olivia Wilde, the R-rated movie is about a 1950s married couple. Jack, played by Harry Styles, and Alice Chambers, played by Florence Pugh, live in a community named Victory, where men go to work and women relax in luxury. However, Alice’s life goes downhill, and she wonders why she is stuck in her reality.
As for what interests her about the movie, graduate student Mahailia Tulloch said, “Mine’s two words. Harry Styles.”
Today, Styles has become one of Hollywood’s most popular movie actors and a key interest in the film. According to the Associated Press, the studio wasn’t disappointed with the film’s response and results.
“For an original film that cost $35 million to make, a $19.2 million launch was solid—and slightly more than the studio had forecast. A large number of moviegoers—including plenty of Styles fans—turned up to see what all the fuss was about,” reported the Associated Press.
The film attracted a predominantly female audience.
According to The New York Times, “Women made up 66 percent of the audience, according to Warner Bros., the studio behind the $35 million film, with an unusually large 52 percent of ticket buyers under the age of 25.”
Before the opening night, criticism rose due to the behind-the-scenes allegations and backlash between the cast and crew.
According to Rotten Tomatoes, “In-fighting to the public is much different than just hearing something is a disaster. Critics have certainly done that lifting by only putting the film at 38% on the Tomatometer. But audiences were still curious and spent nearly $20 million on the film this weekend.”
According to the Associated Press, Actor Shia LaBeouf, who was supposed to play Styles’ role, was fired because of his history of aggression on set. LaBeouf’s ex-girlfriend, FKA Twigs, came out with a claim of partner abuse after he departed from the film. He was rumored to be fired to keep a safe and protected workspace.
“Shia is very hard to work with because he gets into his characters. Drama. That’s one word,” said graduate student Nephthalie Rene.
Pugh was another cast member who had difficulties on set, as she did not get along with Wilde. According to Wilde, Pugh got into a screaming match after they knew each other from past dramas.
“Florence got into an argument with Olivia Wilde because she knows Jason Sudeikis, her ex, from her former boyfriend, Zach Braff. I’m seeing it for the drama,” said Rene.
It was widely reported that the fight led up going to Warner Bros. executives and Pugh not doing any press after the 2022 Venice Film Festival that took place on Sept. 5. Forty production crew members wrote a statement about the gossip surrounding Wilde and the cast.
According to Deadline, in a declaration signed by the crew members, “We are happy to put our names on this, as real people who worked on the film, and who have witnessed and benefitted from the collaborative and safe space Olivia creates as a director and leader. We’re also thrilled that the movie is in theaters this weekend. We can’t wait for you to see it on the big screen.”
Despite the accusations, Wilde is determined to show a meaningful new image of love and fascination that pushes barriers.
“What are you willing to sacrifice in order to do what’s right? Are you willing to dismantle the system that is designed to serve you? That’s the world, and the question, of ‘Don’t Worry Darling’,” said Wilde in La Biennale Di Venezia.