Don’t Worry Darling, directed by Olivia Wilde (Booksmart) and starring Harry Styles (Dunkirk, My Policeman) and Florence Pugh (Midsommar, Little Women), has built up a lot of buzz over the course of its production - but mainly due to the drama that has taken place behind the scenes.
After the film enjoyed its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival on Monday (5 September) evening, it received a five minute standing ovation from the audience - despite the less than enthusiastic reviews that critics have to offer.
This is everything you need to know about the Don’t Worry Darling drama.
Was Harry Styles paid more than Florence Pugh?
Rumours online started circulating that Styles was paid more for his role in Don’t Worry Darling than Pugh, despite Pugh being the lead star of the film.
These rumours were sparked by the publication Showbiz Galore, which alleged that Styles made $2.5 million on the film, compared to Pugh’s $700,000. However, Showbiz Galore did not cite any sources or evidence for the claim.
No mainstream outlet has reported on the cast’s salaries, which includes Gemma Chan (Eternals, Crazy Rich Asians), KiKi Layne (The Old Guard, If Beale Street Could Talk), Nick Kroll (Human Resources, Sing 2) and Chris Pine (The Contractor, Wonder Woman).
Talking to Variety, Wilde denied the reported pay disparity between Styles and Pugh.
She said: “There has been a lot out there that I largely don’t pay attention to.
“But the absurdity of invented clickbait and subsequent reaction regarding a nonexistent pay disparity between our lead and supporting actors really upset me.
“I’m a woman who has been in this business for over 20 years, and it’s something that I have fought for myself and others, especially being a director.
“There is no validity to those claims.”
Did Olivia Wilde call Florence Pugh ‘Miss Flo’?
Before getting into the “Miss Flo” thing, we need to go over the drama that occurred between Wilde and Shia LaBeouf.
Prior to Styles being cast in Don’t Worry Darling, LaBeouf had been hired for the role of Jack Chambers, opposite Pugh.
Wilde told Variety that LaBeouf had been let go from the project because “his process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions”.
She said: “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.
Ultimately, my responsibility is to the production and to the cast to protect them. That was my job.”
She added: “A lot came to light after this happened that really troubled me, in terms of his behaviour.”
Here, Wilde if referring to the allegations of sexual battery, assault and emotional distress made against LaBeouf by his ex-girlfriend, musician FKA Twigs.
Wilde continued: “I find myself just really wishing him health and evolution because I believe in restorative justice. But for our film, what we really needed was an energy that was incredibly supportive.
“Particularly with a movie like this, I knew that I was going to be asking Florence to be in very vulnerable situations, and my priority was making her feel safe and making her feel supported.”
However, shortly after the interview with Variety was released, LaBeouf hit back at the claims that he was fired from the film, stating that he quit Don’t Worry Darling because he and the rest of the cast “couldn’t find time to rehearse”.
He then posted a video clip of Wilde in which she appeared to be begging LaBeouf not to leave the project.
In the clip, Wilde says: “I feel like I’m not ready to give up on this year, and I, too, am heartbroken and want to figure this out.
“You know, I think this might be a bit of a wake up call for Miss Flo, and I want to know if you’re open to giving this a shot with me, with us.
“If she really commits, if she really puts her mind and heart into it at this point and if you guys can make peace - and I respect your point of view, I respect hers - but if you guys can do it, what do you think? Is there hope? Will you let me know?”
The video added more fuel to the fire that was the rumour that Wilde and Pugh had had a falling out during the production of the film.
Why hasn’t Florence Pugh done any promotion for the film?
Those who have been following Don’t Worry Darling news will have noticed that Pugh has done surprisingly little promotion for a film in which she is the lead.
At the end of July, a report from Page Six claimed that Pugh was unhappy about Wilde and Styles’ relationship, which allegedly began on set whilst Wilde was still with Jason Sudeikis, the father of her two children.
The source said: “I can tell you for a fact that Flo seeing Olivia and Harry all over each other on set did not go down well.
“Jason and the kids visited Olivia on set at the beginning a few times, so I think this all made people feel a little uncomfortable.”
While Wilde has shared pictures throughout the production of Don’t Worry Darling on social media, praising Pugh and her performance, the actress did not return the favour.
On the day that the Don’t Worry Darling trailer dropped, Pugh instead shared the poster for another one of her upcoming films, Oppenheimer, to her Instagram story instead.
Even talking to Harper’s Bazaar, Pugh talked little about Don’t Worry Darling, although she did say that she didn’t want the film and her performance to be “reduced” to her sex scenes with co-star Styles.
She said: “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.
“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 [the film] is bigger and better than that. And the people who made it are bigger and better than that.”
Wilde, on the other hand, has spoken extensively about the sex scenes between Styles and Pugh.
Pugh was also noticeably absent from the Venice press conference for Don’t Worry Darling on Monday 5 September - while the official reason for her not attending the panel was that her flight got in too late to join the rest of the cast, the actress was seen publicly in Venice at around the time of the conference.
At the press conference, a journalist asked Wilde: “Can you just clear the air and address whether there has been a falling out [with Pugh] and if so, why? Because it’s something that people are discussing.”
Wilde replied: “Florence is a force, and we are so grateful that she is able to make it tonight, despite being in production on Dune.
“I know as a director how disruptive it is to lose an actor even for a day, so I’m very grateful to her and Denis Villeneuve for helping us.
“We’re really thrilled we’ll get to celebrate her work tonight.”
Did Florence Pugh turn up at the Venice Film Festival?
Pugh did end up walking the red carpet on Monday evening, announcing her arrival on Instagram, with the caption: “I’m here.”
While at the Venice Film Festival, Pugh didn’t appear to have any public interactions with Wilde.
Did Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine?
Of all the Don’t Worry Darling drama, of which there is plenty, the claim that Styles spat on his co-star, Chris Pine, at the Venice Film Festival is definitely the most bizarre.
On Twitter, a clip of Styles taking his seat next to Pine for the screening of Don’t Worry Darling went viral as it appeared to show Styles spitting on Pine.
The video shows Pine, and the rest of the audience, clapping as Styles makes his way to his seat. As Styles approaches his seat, he leans over Pine before sitting down - it’s here that many across the internet claim that Styles spat on Pine.
Right after it looks like the spit happened, Pine stops clapping and looks down with an expression of disbelief on his face.
A rep for Pine weighed in on the viral video to dispell the rumour, saying in a statement that the clip was merely “an odd online illusion”.
They said: “This is a ridiculous story - a complete fabrication and the result of an odd online illusion that is clearly deceiving and allows for foolish speculation.
“Just to be clear, Harry Styles did not spit on Chris Pine. There is nothing but respect between these two men and any suggestion otherwise is a blatant attempt to create drama that simply does not exist.”
Styles actually referred to the weird rumour whilst on stage at New York’s Madison Square Garden after the film festival.
Talking to the audience, Styles joked: “I just popped very quickly to Venice to spit on Chris Pine.”