Don’t Worry Darling: Olivia Wilde and Florence Pugh Reportedly Had a “Screaming Match”

Dispatches from the set of Don’t Worry Darling, Olivia Wilde’s psychological thriller, continue to trickle in as it hits theaters nationwide—following a buzzy press tour that abounded with rumors of unrest between Wilde and star Florence Pugh.

Tensions between Wilde and Pugh reportedly boiled over in January 2021, about three-quarters into filming, according to a new piece from senior Vulture reporter Chris Lee. An anonymous source who spent “significant time” on set confirmed this timeline to Vulture and cited Pugh’s frustration with Wilde’s “frequent unexplained absences” during shooting. “Olivia and Harry [Styles] would just disappear,” the source said, with the conflict culminating in a “screaming match.”

Discord between Wilde and Pugh reportedly caught the attention of Toby Emmerich, then Warner Bros.’ highest-ranking studio executive. According to Vulture’s source, Emmerich subsequently led a “long negotiation process” to guarantee that Pugh would promote the film “in any way” and not “jeopardize” box office totals. (A Warner Bros. spokesperson told the outlet that “Emmerich was traveling and unavailable to comment.” Representatives for Wilde and Pugh did not respond to Vulture’s requests for comment.)

Another sticking point in Don’t Worry Darling’s promotion has been whether original leading man Shia LaBeouf quit or was fired from the production. Multiple sources told the outlet that the studio was dissatisfied with Wilde’s handling of the controversy. (A source told Vanity Fair that Wilde had decided to fire LaBeouf, but allowed him to believe he was quitting.) “Olivia is either a mad genius who figured out a way to make people more aware of the movie in a way that just drives up the box office,” a person close to the production told Vulture, “or she doesn’t have any self-awareness that she is fucking up her movie.” (Warner Bros. did not respond to Vulture’s request for comment.)

On top of the explosive claims that did make it into Vulture’s piece, Lee shared additional unpublished details from his reporting in a series of since-deleted tweets. “@NYMag lawyers really ripped the guts out of this story. Wish you could read my original draft,” he wrote. Of the “screaming argument” between Wilde and Pugh, Lee tweeted, “Florence would give input on how she thought the next scene should be shot when Olivia wasn’t there. 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.” The reporter added that the anecdote was provided by “an unimpeachable source who has zero agenda against the film or anyone who worked on it.” 

When asked by Vanity Fair for her recent cover story about rumors that she “was so smitten with Styles that she neglected or otherwise alienated Pugh, and that Pugh and/or the cinematographer even had to direct some scenes,” Wilde responded: “The idea that I had five seconds in the day to be distracted by anything is laughable. I was there before everyone. I was there after everyone. And it was a dream. It’s not like this work was not enjoyable. It was just all-encompassing.”

As for specific complaints Pugh brought to Emmerich, Lee wrote: “Just that she was unhappy with Olivia. She doesn’t want to support the movie. And she just felt that she wasn’t taken care of by the director. That she doesn’t like her, basically.”

The reporter claimed that the film’s crew “was extremely pissed” when Wilde was photographed with Styles attending the January 2021 wedding at which they made their public debut as a couple. Wilde had reportedly given “lectures” about safety during filming, Lee wrote in one of the deleted tweets. “Don’t be stupid. You’re fucking up our movie. Don’t go to parties. Don’t congregate,” she told crew members, according to Lee’s source, who added, “There were so many complaints from the crew saying, ‘How dare she tell us to shelter in place while we’re doing this movie? And yet she goes to a public wedding with a group of people? This is fucking crazy!’”

Matthew Libatique, Don’t Worry Darling’s cinematographer, supported Wilde when asked about the on-set atmosphere by VF. “It was one of the most harmonious sets I’ve ever been on,” he said, “and I’m in the middle of the storm.”

Article: www.vanityfair.com

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