Don’t worry, Florence Pugh is standing by “Don’t Worry Darling.”
The lead star of Olivia Wilde’s sophomore directorial feature, in theaters September 23 following a world premiere at the Venice Film Festival, slammed fans and critics alike for only focusing on one thing: the sex scenes with Harry Styles in the steamy trailers. And yes, one particular kitchen cunnilingus scene comes to mind.
Pugh plays Alice, a suburban housewife who begins to question why the facade of her white picket fence life is beginning to crack. Alice’s husband Jack (Styles) works for a mysterious company run by a controlling boss (Chris Pine) who seems to run both the business and domestic lives of the town of Victory. But of course, all anyone seemed to talk about was Styles’ rumored nudity and the behind-the-scenes romance between Styles and Wilde.
“When it’s reduced to your sex scenes, or to watch the most famous man in the world go down on someone, it’s not why we do it. It’s not why I’m in this industry,” Pugh told Harper’s Bazaar. “Obviously, the nature of hiring the most famous pop star in the world, you’re going to have conversations like that. That’s just not what I’m going to be discussing because [this movie is] bigger and better than that. And the people who made it are bigger and better than that.”
Pugh also shared that originally she was offered the supporting role of Bunny, the wife of Pine’s powerhouse character. Yet due to COVID production delays, Pugh was freed up to take on the lead. Wilde stepped in instead to play Bunny.
“It was a different beast,” Oscar nominee Pugh explained of portraying Alice. “I love playing a distressed woman. I guess all of my movies have that element of women being forced into a corner, forced into an opinion, forced into a way of life. And then finally, something cracks.”
Director Wilde previously promised that the film will be all about “female pleasure” when it comes to love scenes. Wilde compared “Don’t Worry Darling” to Adrian Lyne’s erotic thrillers like “Fatal Attraction” and “Indecent Proposal.”
“[Those movies are] really sexy, in a grown-up way,” Wilde told Vogue earlier this year. “I kept saying, ‘Why isn’t there any good sex in film anymore?'”
The cover story also reported that in one scene featuring a “hardworking Styles and a most gratified Pugh, is going to generate some serious attention — and, if the devotion of Styles’s fan base is any indication, hysteria — when ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ is released,” teasing that Wilde could only hint that the audience will be satiated. In the end, per Wilde, the film sets out for audiences to “realize how rarely they see female hunger, and specifically this type of female pleasure.”