“My Favorite Thing About the Movie Is, Like, It Feels Like a Movie.”

Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling” is turning into a Public Relations Nightmare

Olivia Wilde’s new psychological thriller, “Don’t Worry Darling,” stars Harry Styles and Florence Pugh and is set to release on September 23, 2022. The movie has been highly anticipated, although recent press surrounding the premiere has been far from positive. Filming began in October 2020, initially casting Shia Lebouf as the male lead, however, he was later replaced with Harry Styles.

Even if you had no interest in seeing the movie, you’ve probably heard about the drama surrounding it. The sequence of unfortunate press leading up to the movie’s release is a true public relations nightmare.  

Olivia v. Florence 

This summer, sources revealed on-set drama between Olivia Wilde and Florence pugh. Allegedly, a romantic connection between Harry and Olivia was making others on set uncomfortable due to Wilde’s recent divorce. Pugh is one of those people. Apparently, Pugh was also unhappy with the choice of scenes included in the first trailer. Wilde spoke to Vogue in late 2021 and explained how she wanted to focus on the topic of sex; specifically, female pleasure in the film. When Pugh discovered how the first trailer concentrated on her sex scenes, she felt belittled since her performance was only seen as being with “one of the biggest pop stars in the world,” according to her interview with Harper’s Bazaar in August. This fueled Pugh’s dislike of Wilde and eventually limited her press appearances leading up to the movie, except for her one debut at Venice Film Festival. 

Olivia v. Shia 

Shia Lebouf was originally cast as the male lead for “Don’t Worry Darling,” and when the new casting of Harry Styles was announced, Wilde claimed that she fired Lebouf due to problems on set. However, Lebouf later revealed that he quit the production because of the work environment and alleged problems with Florence Pugh. Wilde later proceeded to ask Lebouf to come back to set, and according to a video sent to Varietyshe said, “I feel like I’m not ready to give up on this yet, and I, too, am heartbroken, and I want to figure this out.” When this information became public, it discredited Wilde a great deal, and the press for the movie was negative once again.   

Olivia v. Bad Press 

Ever since the announcement of Harry Styles joining the film’s cast, “Don’t Worry Darling” has been highly anticipated, especially by his fans. He was speculated to bring a lot of viewership, though it’s been happening in ways many didn’t expect. Firstly, clips of Styles’ various interviews have been going viral, including one with the infamous quote, “My favorite thing about the movie is, like, it feels like a movie.” A quote in which he tried to explain that this movie is one you want to see in the theater, but it didn’t sound that. Harry was also accused of spitting on Chris Pine at the Venice Film Festival, although those allegations were eventually proven false. These situations have created a public relations nightmare for the movie and actors as individuals in the coming weeks before its release. 

The press involving this movie has been going viral, and not in the most favorable ways. Short video clips of the actors’ interactions are being looked at through a magnifying glass, and fans on social media continue running with any possible evidence. The movie’s reviews have also been less than ideal, so it will be interesting to see how general audiences respond when the film officially hits theaters. Hopefully, it will feel “like a movie.”

Jesse Taylor, Junior Account Executive

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