Don’t Worry Darling: Scandals Escalate–Harry Styles Spitting, Chris Pine “Astral Projecting,” Florence Pugh Avoiding Eye Contact: How ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Drama Escalated On Line After Venice Premiere

Harry Styles Spitting, Chris Pine “Astral Projecting” and Florence Pugh Avoiding Eye Contact: How Don’t Worry Darling’ Drama Escalated On Line After Venice Premiere

Despite a warm reception, the online frenzy surrounding the film escalated even further following its bow at the film festival thanks to viral video clips and photos from the press conference.

Is the picture doomed? Will the scandals help or damage the commercial prospects of the Warner picture (out September 23).
And what about the impact of mixed to negative critical response.
Our grade of the movie, which is troubled in more senses than one, is C+ (** out of *****)
After the weeks of drama that had engulfed Olivia Wilde’s much-hyped sophomore feature Don’t Worry Darling, drama that somehow managed to crescendo even further following an awkward press conference at the Venice Film Festival on Monday (where questions were shut down by the moderator).

There was some hope that all the scandal would be put to one side for the star-studded world premiere later that evening.

Fans of Harry Styles outside (many who had camped overnight) ensured that the psychological thriller generated some of the loudest screams of the festival, although the welcome for lead star Florence Pugh hit a similar decibel range. The screams continued beyond the red carpet and into the Salla Grande before the screening, while afterwards the film generated a solid seven-minute standing ovation.

In what has become an overnight viral video hit, as Styles’ sits down in the Salle Grande for the Don’t Worry Darling screening, he appears to spit at co-star Chris Pine.

Or does he?

The reaction from Pine certainly suggests he did.

In any case, the footage has arguably become the biggest Twitter talking point from the premiere, generating millions of views.

Perhaps in second place, another piece of video footage captured after the screening shows Pugh acknowledging the cheers and applause, looking embarrassed, throwing kisses to the crowd and laughing with co-star Nick Kroll. But what it doesn’t show her do is make any eye contact whatsoever with her director Wilde, with watchers suggesting that she didn’t do so once during the entire seven-minute ovation. The two sat four seats away from each other and didn’t appear to interact whatsoever on the red carpet beforehand.

Given that much of the drama surrounding the film is connected to rumors of a rift between Wilde and her lead actress, who skipped the Venice press conference (her plane landed while it was taking place —  resulting in another meme-worthy moment of her cheerfully strolling, glass of Aperol Spritz in hand.

Then the clips from the premiere only turned up the heat of the debate — or “internet gossip” as Wilde had described it to reporters — even further.

These rumors expanded just a couple of days later to suggest that she had been paid less than a third of what her male co-star made:

Pugh got $700,000 to Styles’ $2.5 million, reportedly.

Just days before Venice started, there was another explosion. In a lengthy interview in which Wilde said there was “no validity” to the claims of the pay gap, she also alluded to the fact she had fired Shia LaBeouf (whose role went to Styles), claiming that she did so over his “combative energy” and to keep Pugh “safe.”

LaBeouf immediately hit back, writing a lengthy public email — that included several SMS messages he’d received from Wilde as evidence — asserting that he had “quit” the movie. A leaked 2020 video message appeared to confirm LaBeouf’s protests, showing Wilde in her car pleading with him to change his mind while also seemingly blaming Pugh — or “Miss Flo” as she referred to her — for being concerned about working with the actor.

With this the final update on the matter going into the festival, many eyes were on the press conference in the hope that it would be addressed by Wilde.

Not so.

After Wilde batted away a question about Pugh’s absence and their rumored fallout, saying she didn’t want to contribute to “all the noise,” the moderator then shut down the attempt to ask about LaBeouf.

Pine — a potential spit target later on in the day — became a viral hit himself due to the press conference. While much of the attention was on Wilde’s refusal to talk about the drama, photos from the media meet showed him looking spaced out by the proceedings. Or, as several Twitter users described it: “Chris Pine astral projecting.”