Olivia Wilde: ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Will Make Viewers Realize ‘How Rarely They See Female Pleasure’

"Why isn’t there any good sex in film anymore?" asks Olivia Wilde. Her new movie aims to correct that.
"Don't Worry Darling"
"Don't Worry Darling"
Olivia Wilde Instagram

Any list of the most anticipated films of 2022 is bound to include Olivia Wilde’s psychological thriller “Don’t Worry Darling,” starring Florence Pugh and Harry Styles. The project is Wilde’s follow-up to her breakthrough directorial debut “Booksmart,” but the two movies could not be more different. Wilde recently told Vogue that “Don’t Worry Darling” is the equivalent of “‘The Feminine Mystique’ on acid” and wrestles with the question, “What are you willing to sacrifice in order to do what’s right? If you really think about it, are you willing to blow up the system that serves you?”

The official synopsis for “Don’t Worry Darling” reads: “A 1950s housewife living with her husband in a utopian experimental community begins to worry that his glamorous company may be hiding disturbing secrets.” Wilde’s “Booksmart” co-screenwriter Katie Silberman wrote the film based on an original script by the Van Dyke brothers. The supporting cast includes Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne, and Chris Pine. Darren Aronofsky’s longtime cinematographer Matthew Libatique serves as cinematographer.

Speaking to Vogue, Wilde said Adrian Lyne psychosexual thrillers such as “Fatal Attraction” and “Indecent Proposal” served as sources of inspiration for “Don’t Worry Darling.” As the filmmaker said, “[Those movies are] really sexy, in a grown-up way…I kept saying, ‘Why isn’t there any good sex in film anymore?'”

The Vogue cover story reports: “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. When I work up the blushing courage to ask Wilde about it, she gets technical, talking about overhead angles and wraparound shots, though she readily volunteers that she intends for her audience to ‘realize how rarely they see female hunger, and specifically this type of female pleasure.'”

First footage from the movie debuted on social media in September, a year ahead of the project’s theatrical release. The footage shows Pugh’s character in an idyllic suburban setting, but something dark and twisted rages underneath the surface. The brief clip ends with what looks like Pugh’s character suffocating herself by wrapping her head in tape.

“Don’t Worry Darling” will open in theaters September 23, 2022, from New Line and Warner Bros.

Daily Headlines
Daily Headlines covering Film, TV and more.

By subscribing, I agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

PMC Logo
IndieWire is a part of Penske Media Corporation. © 2023 IndieWire Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved.