It is obvious by now that Florence Pugh wants as little to do with Don’t Worry Darling as humanly possible. For months, there have been rumors about her displeasure with her experience in the film. When she was conspicuously silent on social media about promoting the film, TikTok explained her silence by claiming that she took issue with director Olivia Wilde’s behavior on set—namely, her affair with Harry Styles (a relationship that seems, by all appearances, to be going strong, so good for them, we guess).
Ahead of Don’t Worry Darling’s Monday premiere in Venice, The Wrap reported that Pugh would only make one press appearance to promote the film. By Friday, it was clear that the Venice International Film Festival would not be that appearance. Pugh was out in Budapest filming a Dune, you see, making it impossible for her to make it to the press conference in time, but leaving her just enough time to make it to the red carpet.
Those who did make it to the press conference were Wilde, Styles, and co-stars Chris Pine and Gemma Chan. When asked about the (alleged) feud between her and Pugh, Wilde did what she has typically done so far: heap praise on the actress that almost certainly will not be returned. “Florence is a force. We are so grateful she’s able to make it tonight [for the red carpet] despite being in production on Dune,” Wilde said at the panel, per Variety. “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 to [Dune director Denis Villeneuve] for helping us. And we’ll get to celebrate her work tonight. I can’t say how honored I am to have her as our lead. She’s amazing.”
Then, Wilde spoke to all of us on the internet, gleefully soaking up the drama: “As for all the endless tabloid gossip and all the noise out there, the Internet feeds itself. I don’t feel the need to contribute; I think it’s sufficiently well-nourished.”
Oh, we’re nourished alright. While it was once just assumed that Pugh’s issue with Wilde and Don’t Worry Darling stemmed from her liaisons with Styles, new context came from Shia LaBeouf, of all people. In a missive sent to The A.V. Club as well as a number of other outlets, LaBeouf argued that Wilde hadn’t actually fired him from the film in 2020, as she had previously claimed, and that he had quit. This claim seems dubious; it seemed sort of mutual, at least to this writer, but not the firing narrative that Wilde had once pushed. Worse, though, was a video Wilde sent LaBeouf, which he then distributed, which seemingly depicts the director saying that LaBeouf’s shenanigans will be a “wake-up call for Miss Flo.”
In short, it is a whole mess, and it’s pretty damn easy to see why Pugh would rather just wash her hands of the whole mess at this point. Despite the mess (or perhaps because of it) the film seems actually pretty good. This writer will be there, popcorn in hand, when it opens on September 23.