Behind the Scenes, Darling

Hailey Timmerman, Staff Writer

Commentary on Olivia Wilde’s Wild Controversy

This year on September 23, 2022 the brand new psychological thriller Don’t Worry Darling floods box offices all across the globe. This psychological thriller is based upon an alternate reality in which the main characters join, or find themselves in against their will. Starring Florence Pugh (Alice), Harry Styles (Jack), and Chris Pine (Frank), this screenplay gained lots of excitement from fans all around the world. But is there a darker side to the movie other than the darkness of the story itself?

In the world of cinema, directors may believe they are the heart of the movie. But when it comes to the screenplay, the actors are the ones putting in the full work. Of course, no movie could happen without a director, but the audience gives most credit to the actors’ great, or not-so-great performances in the film.

Much controversy has flooded the media as director Olivia Wilde has been caught in many lies and unethical acts. To start, in April 2020, it was announced Shia Lebeouf would play main character Jack. Then, out of the blue that September, Lebeouf exited the film, saying there were “scheduling conflicts,” and it was then Styles took over the role. After this happened, Lebeouf went through some heavy legal allegations not involving the film. When Wilde came out and stated how he was fired as an attempt for her to create a “safe trusting environment” and how it was her “responsibility to the production and to the cast to protect them,” it left fans wondering if Lebouf had partaken in actions in which made Pugh uncomfortable. This further alludes to this idea when it comes out that Florence Pugh was not comfortable working with Lebeouf during the film. Later, Labeouf comes out and says that was all false. He explains that he has quit the job because there wasn’t sufficient time to rehearse, there was no problem between him and Pugh. Along with this he shares a video that Wilde had sent him in which she is trying to get Lebeouf back on set, even after she confirms Florence Pugh was not comfortable with Lebeouf being her “partner” in the film. This is messy and not okay. Three sides of the story, who is left to blame? As a director, it should be Wilde’s responsibility to make things right. But with everything so unclear, what action can even be taken?

So, for Olivia Wilde to be treating head star Florence Pugh as if she is not important is not okay. Fans turned their back on Wilde and stood with Pugh in this controversy. Don’t Worry Darling slowly became the number one movie in America, leading to an incredible response from the audience on Pugh’s performance, further driving the idea of the wonders that actors bring to a film. Directors owe it all to their actors, and in mainstream media, to see prime examples of well-known actors being exploited behind the scenes is scary. This concept caused an uproar against Wilde. Though it is a better outlook to think, “Now we know about this and can bring light to it and support Florence,” but on the contrary, this leaves us with the unknown idea: who else could this be happening to, and how can we help them?

As the consumers, we love going out and seeing new movies with some of our favorite actors, but it is important to look into the truth behind the scenes; the ones the directors don’t want us to see.