Venice Film Festival: Harry Styles, Florence Pugh and Olivia Wilde create buzz at Don’t Worry Darling premiere
- Screaming fans vie to catch a glimpse of Harry Styles on the red carpet at the Venice International Film Festival as Olivia Wilde’s film premieres to acclaim
- Florence Pugh makes a movie-star entrance in a sparkling, off-the-shoulder Valentino number and, like Styles, stops to talk to fans
After much anticipation, Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling finally had its world premiere on September 5 at the Venice International Film Festival in Venice, Italy.
Many keyed in on the film’s press conference earlier in the day, with hopes that reports about behind-the-scenes tension with Pugh would be addressed or clarified. Wilde, before the premiere, said she did not want to contribute to “the endless tabloid gossip” and “the noise”.
“The internet feeds itself,” Wilde said. “I don’t need to contribute, I think it’s significantly well-nourished.”
Pugh is in the middle of production on Dune 2, a massive blockbuster (also a Warner Bros joint) and is expected to go straight back after her Venice obligations. Though the star of the film, she did not attend the press conference as her flight had not yet landed.
“Florence is a force and we are so grateful that she is able to make it tonight,” Wilde said. “I know as a director how disruptive it is to lose an actor, even for a day.”
Behind-the-scenes drama rarely extends beyond internal industry gossip, but the question of exactly what happened in the making of Don’t Worry Darling has become a source of global intrigue.
Wilde, for her part, has been nothing but effusive about her lead actor. In an interview with Associated Press, she spoke at length about Pugh’s extraordinary talent saying that what she did with the role was “singularly brilliant” and that the character of Alice is a “heroine for the ages”.
Still, questions remain about why Pugh has not been posting much about the film on her Instagram. She did not hype the trailer, or say anything about getting into Venice.
Then, in the past few weeks, all the little threads seemed to catch fire at once. Much of that was stoked by LaBeouf, who came out of the woodwork to contest a two-year-old narrative that he had been fired from the project. Ultimately, his role went to Styles.
Wilde, in a Variety cover story, is not directly quoted saying she fired him. She did offer: “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.”
In response, LaBeouf sent private emails, texts and video messages to Variety to prove his case that he actually quit because of lack of rehearsal time. The video message, in which she tries to convince LaBeouf to stay on as Jack, was subsequently leaked online in which she calls Pugh “Miss Flo”.
The moderator of the press conference cut off a reporter attempting to ask about LaBeouf, saying that Wilde had already answered that in her comment about “tabloid gossip” and noise.
The press conference stuck to the themes of the film, a mid-century styled psychological thriller about a picture-perfect couple Alice (Pugh) and her husband Jack (Styles) who live in an experimental community in the desert.
“We were really interested in the kind of problematic nature of nostalgia itself,” Wilde said. “In this film everything is a metaphor … everything that is beautiful is also sinister. That is by design.”