Anyone who has spent any number of seconds on the internet in recent weeks will be aware that there is an almost unbearable amount of drama currently surrounding the production and release of Don’t Worry Darling, the highly anticipated mystery-thriller-drama directed by Olivia Wilde and starring Harry Styles and Florence Pugh (!!!!!!!!).
If you’re confused by what the heck is happening there, please join the club. We saved you a seat. But because it is my job, let me make a valiant attempt to unpack this whole mess for you.
September 2020: Shia LaBeouf leaves his lead role in ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ due to a “scheduling conflict”
In September 2020, Deadline reported that Harry Styles would replace Shia LaBeouf as the lead, because the latter had a “scheduling conflict.” Shortly thereafter, Variety obtained inside information that suggested this wasn't true, and that Wilde had fired LaBeouf because he “displayed poor behavior and his style clashed with the cast and crew, including Wilde, who ultimately fired him.”
Wilde appeared to confirm this in interviews, culminating in her recent cover story for Variety, in which she said, “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.”
But LaBeouf has denied this version of events, and forwarded emails to Variety that he and Wilde allegedly exchanged, in which he told her, “You and I both know the reasons for my exit. I quit your film because your actors and I couldn’t find time to rehearse.”
He also shared a now-infamous video with the publication in which Wilde tells him, “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. 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?”
Winter 2021: Olivia Wilde and Harry Styles allegedly begin dating on set, which—again, allegedly—makes Florence Pugh uncomfortable
In November of 2021, People broke the news that Olivia Wilde and Jason Sudeikis had separated over the course of 2021. People reported at the time: "It's been amicable and they’ve transitioned into a great co-parenting routine. The children are the priority and the heart of the family’s relationship." Two months later, in January of 2022, Wilde and Styles were photographed holding hands at a friend's wedding.
In July 2022, an anonymous source told Page Six, “I can tell you for a fact that Flo seeing Olivia and Harry all over each other on set did not go down well as Olivia was still with Jason [Sudeikis] when she first hooked up with Harry.” Pugh is apparently good friends with Sudeikis.
April 2022: Jason Sudeikis serves Olivia Wilde custody papers while she’s on stage at CinemaCon
Wilde and Sudeikis share children Otis and Daisy, and while Wilde was promoting the movie at CinemaCon, she was served custody papers by her ex on stage, per Deadline. In her Variety interview, Wilde slammed the unfolding of these events.
“It was my workplace,” she said. “In any other workplace, it would be seen as an attack. It was really upsetting. It shouldn’t have been able to happen. There was a huge breach in security, which is really scary.”
In court documents, Sudeikis reportedly wrote, “I did not want service to take place at the home of Olivia’s current partner because Otis and Daisy might be present. I did not want service to take place at the children’s school because parents might be present."
He continued, “I understand that the process server had only done her job; however, I deeply regret what happened. Olivia’s talk was an important event for Olivia, both professionally and personally, and I am very, very sorry that the incident marred her special moment.”
Summer 2022: Florence Pugh refrains from promoting ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ online
September 2022: Florence Pugh skips the Venice press conference because she’s allegedly working on ‘Dune: Part Two’
Pugh skipped the Venice press conference for Don’t Worry Darling, supposedly because she was working on Dune: Part Two and didn’t fly in on time. But fans weren’t convinced that she couldn’t have made it to the conference if she had wanted to, especially after a video of her strutting along in a deep purple ensemble while enjoying an Apérol Spritz made the rounds.
September 2022: Chris Pine looks… unhappy while Styles is speaking at the conference
Chris Pine inspired many a meme with the faces he pulled while Styles was speaking at the press conference. He looked… unimpressed to say the least, prompting commenters—including myself—to speculate that he was taking Pugh’s side in this whole drama.
September 2022: Florence Pugh makes a splash with her Granzo Pat as her date
Pugh, refusing to feed the drama, brought her grandma with her on the red carpet, and served absolute looks in a sparkly black dress. She looked so amazing in fact, that both Chris Pine and Nick Kroll took to paparazzi-ing her, which is adorable, but also sparked further rumors that Pine is Team Florence in this whole ordeal.
September 2022: Pugh, Wilde and Styles avoid one another on the red carpet
This trio always had a human buffer between them when posing for official photos.
September 2022: Harry Styles kisses Nick Kroll
For some reason, Styles kissed his co-star Kroll. So at least these two are getting along.
September 2022: The rumor mill goes wild over Harry Styles appearing to spit in Chris Pine’s lap
Things really came to a head when a video which seemed to show Styles spitting in Pine’s lap went viral, but a rep for Pine promptly denied these rumors. “Just to be clear, Harry Styles did not spit on Chris Pine,” he said. “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.”
September 2022: Olivia Wilde and Florence Pugh finally interact in public
After all that, the two women ended up clapping for each other, as seen in a video shared by the movie’s official Instagram account.
Iris Goldsztajn is a London-based journalist, editor and author. She is the morning editor at Marie Claire, and her work has appeared in the likes of InStyle, Cosmopolitan, Bustle and Shape. Iris writes about everything from celebrity news and relationship advice to the pitfalls of diet culture and the joys of exercise. She has many opinions on Harry Styles, and can typically be found eating her body weight in cheap chocolate.
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