Olivia Wilde’s “Don’t Worry Darling” finally opens in theaters this week after a seemingly endless press tour that has led many to wonder if the countless stories about Shia LaBeouf and alleged spittings would kill the film’s box office prospects. The drama regarding Wilde and her relationships with stars Florence Pugh and Harry Styles has dominated coverage of the film in recent months, significantly overshadowing the content of the film itself.
But so far, much of the drama surrounding the film has essentially amounted to fans connecting their own dots. Pugh has been conspicuously absent from the press tour, but she has a convenient excuse in the form of her obligations to “Dune: Part Two,” which is currently filming in Budapest. Theories about the nature of Pugh’s feud with Wilde, and whether or not it was a result of Wilde’s relationship with Styles, are still just theories. The film’s cinematographer Matthew Libatique even described the environment on set as “harmonious.”
But a new report from Vulture offers more detail on the behind-the-scenes drama that has plagued “Don’t Worry Darling,” alleging that Pugh and Wilde engaged in a “screaming match” on set in January 2021. Pugh was reportedly frustrated by Wilde’s frequent disappearances with Styles (who she began a romantic relationship with soon after casting him), as well as the couple’s decision to attend a high-profile wedding despite frequently lecturing the cast and crew about COVID protocols.
In addition to the personal drama, there were also creative differences on set. IndieWire has reached out to Warner Bros. for comment.
“Florence would give input on how she thought the next scene should be shot when Olivia wasn’t there,” the story’s author, Chris Lee, revealed on Twitter. “She was like, ‘I’m directing this movie more than you are!’ That was yelled at one point and people heard it. That spread all around very quickly.”
That frayed relationship between the two actresses eventually forced high-ranking studio brass to intervene. According to the report, “the acrimony between Wilde and Pugh allegedly reached all the way to the top of the studio totem pole, with the highest-ranking Warner Bros. executive at the time, Toby Emmerich, forced to play referee in a ‘long negotiation process’ to ensure Pugh would participate in the film’s life cycle.” (Pugh ultimately appeared in Venice for the film’s world premiere, though she missed the press conference due to her travel schedule and did not attend the film’s New York premiere.)
“Don’t Worry Darling” is now playing in theaters.