News

‘Don’t Worry Darling’s Venice Film Festival Premiere Day Timeline

  • The stars of “Don’t Worry Darling” were in attendance at the Venice Film Festival on Monday. 
  • Interactions involving director Olivia Wilde and cast members like Florence Pugh went viral on Twitter.
  • Here’s a complete breakdown of the most talked-about moments from the film’s press day in Venice.

The rumored real-life drama among the stars of “Don’t Worry Darling” continued to play out at the film’s world premiere, fueling fan speculation and sparking a flood of memes.

On Monday at the 79th Venice International Film Festival, all eyes were on “Don’t Worry Darling,” the buzzy psychological thriller helmed by actress-turned-director Olivia Wilde. 

Here’s a full play-by-play of everything that happened. 

The stars of the film — minus Pugh — arrived at the festival for a photo call

From left: Harry Styles, Gemma Chan, Chris Pine, and Olivia Wilde posing at the Venice Film Festival in September 2022.
Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

Wilde (who plays Bunny in the movie), Harry Styles (Jack Chambers), Chris Pine (Frank), and Gemma Chan (Shelley) posed for photographers in Venice, Italy. 

It was previously reported by The Wrap that Pugh would be participating in limited press for “DWD” because she’s currently filming Denis Villeneuve’s upcoming “Dune” sequel, in which she plays Princess Irulan, in Budapest. 

Regardless of this explanation, fans speculated that Pugh wouldn’t be as present due to her speculated feud with Wilde. 

In July 2022, Page Six reported that Pugh was displeased about Wilde and Styles’ real-life relationship, which became public after the director’s split from Jason Sudeikis.

Additionally, people who have analyzed Pugh’s social-media activity think that the “Little Women” star has become less enthusiastic about “DWD” over time.

Speculation amped up when a video leaked in late August, showing Wilde allegedly asking Shia LaBeouf (who was previously cast as Jack prior to Styles) to reconsider his exit from the film.

In the video, Wilde alluded to on-set tension and referred to Pugh as “Miss Flo” — a moniker that has since gone viral.

Despite being a no-show at the photo call, Pugh announced her arrival on Instagram

A post shared by Florence Pugh (@florencepugh)

Variety reported that the actress would walk the film’s red carpet but would skip the press conference earlier in the day due to Pugh’s flight arriving in Venice after the interview.

Pugh posted two images on Instagram: one in which she was photographed from the back walking hand-in-hand with her grandma and another showing a vanity filled with makeup products as she was getting glammed up.  

“I’m here,” she captioned the post. “With Granzo Pat. #venicefilmfestival.”

During the press conference, Pine went viral for looking as though he dissociated 

Chris Pine at the 79th Venice International Film Festival.
Elisabetta A. Villa/Getty Images

Early in the press conference, the actors were asked about the experience of entering the stylized, glamorous setting of the dystopian film.

Styles said that it was “fun to get to play in worlds that aren’t necessarily your own” and he didn’t feel like there was much acting involved because of how immersive the set design was.

Chan weighed in after Styles, elaborating on his comments and speaking about how the “beautiful aesthetic” masks “something sinister underneath.”

As Chan spoke, Pine, who was sitting next to her, was seen glancing upward. It’s unclear if he was observing something in particular or mindlessly looking around.

Screenshots of Pine’s face during that moment and elsewhere during the conference swiftly spread on Twitter, with fans assuming that the “Star Trek” actor wasn’t thrilled to be there. 

Wilde commented on the speculated behind-the-scenes drama with Pugh, but a follow-up question was blocked

Olivia Wilde at the Venice Film Festival in September 2022.
Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

A reporter praised the film but said that it was a shame that Pugh wasn’t present for the press conference. Then they asked the director to “clear the air and address if there’s been a falling out there and if so, why, because it’s something people have been discussing.”

Wilde diplomatically said: “Florence is a force. We are so grateful she’s able to make it tonight despite being in production on ‘Dune.’ I know, as a director, how disruptive it is to lose an actor even for a day, so I’m very grateful to her, and to Denis Villeneuve for helping us. And we’re really thrilled we’ll get to celebrate her work tonight. I can’t say how honored I am to have her as our lead. She’s amazing.”

“As for all the endless tabloid gossip and all the noise out there, the Internet feeds itself,” she added. “I don’t feel the need to contribute; I think it’s sufficiently well-nourished.”

When a reporter from The Hollywood Reporter asked Wilde to elaborate on the “noise,” particularly regarding LaBeouf, the moderator interjected and said that the question was answered when the director spoke about the internet.

Pine and Styles participated in a paired interview, in which the ‘Princess Diaries 2’ star’s facial expression, again, went viral

In an interview with Fred Film Radio, Styles spoke about the themes of “DWD” feeling “incredibly relevant now,” despite the film’s vintage aesthetic. The musician also called the movie “entertaining.”

“My favorite thing about the movie is it feels like a movie. It feels like a real, like, go-to-the-theater film movie that, you know,  you kind of… the reason why you go to watch something on the big screen,” Styles said, adding that he believes the purpose of art is to be moving and thought-provoking.

Styles’ aforementioned quote circulated on Twitter, with people zooming in on Pine’s expression as the “Watermelon Sugar” singer shared his thoughts. 

Pugh made her grand appearance on the red carpet, where Pine acted as her personal hype-man

Florence Pugh and Chris Pine at the 2022 Venice Film Festival.
Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP; Joel C Ryan/Invision/AP

She wore a printed tulle dress designed by Valentino, adorned with black glitter and silver sequins. Pine was seen using a disposable camera to take his own photos of the star posing on the carpet.

Pugh was photographed embracing Pine, Chan, Nick Kroll, and Sydney Chandler, but wasn’t caught interacting directly with Wilde or Styles. 

Pugh’s stylist, Rebecca Corbin-Murray, also posted a series of photos on Instagram of Pugh in the Valentino dress with the caption “Miss Flo,” seemingly referencing Wilde’s leaked video that was allegedly sent to LaBeouf. 

While taking group photos, Wilde was never positioned directly next to Styles or Pugh

Olivia Wilde, Chris Pine, and Florence Pugh pose for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of “Don’t Worry Darling.”
Vianney Le Caer/Invision/AP

Wilde and Pugh only posed together as part of group photo opportunities. Pine standing between the two actors led to even more memes

Many thought that Wilde and Styles, who have been romantically linked since early January 2021, would make their red-carpet debut as a couple at Venice, but they kept their distance from each other and were separated by cast members at all times. 

As Styles took his seat for the screening that evening, fans speculated that he spit on Pine. Reps denied that this happened.

Chris Pine and Harry Styles at a screening of “Don’t Worry Darling” at the 2022 Venice Film Festival.
Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Even the seating arrangement for the “DWD” cast seemed calculated and intentional, with Pine sitting between Wilde and Styles and Pugh near the opposite end with Chan and Kroll. 

In a viral video, it appeared as though Styles spit on Pine, causing the “Wonder Woman” star to briefly stop clapping and look down. Pine’s expression changed for a moment, but he remained calm and smiled as if nothing happened. 

It’s unclear what exactly happened, but some people on Twitter suggested that perhaps Styles was trying to clear his throat or cough, and he unintentionally spit on his costar.

As the lights dimmed for the film to start playing, another video showed Pine putting his sunglasses on. Fans theorized that he did so in order to sleep during the movie and not get caught.

On Tuesday, a rep for Pine shut down the spit speculation in a statement to People.  

“This is a ridiculous story — a complete fabrication and the result of an odd online illusion that is clearly deceiving and allows for foolish speculation,” the rep said. “Just to be clear, Harry Styles did not spit on Chris Pine. There is nothing but respect between these two men and any suggestion otherwise is a blatant attempt to create drama that simply does not exist.”

Sources close to Styles also denied that he spit, telling The Guardian: “This is not true.”

The movie received a 7-minute standing ovation, during which Styles kissed Kroll on the lips

As the room erupted with applause, people focused on Pugh’s body language.

Variety co-editor-in-chief Ramin Setoodeh, who was in attendance, shared a video of the cast taken during the standing ovation. Pugh, with her purse on her arm ready to exit, primarily interacted with Kroll and Chan. Setoodeh reported that Pugh refused “to make eye contact with Olivia Wilde.” 

Another video posted by the official “DWD” Instagram account showed Pugh and Wilde looking at each other and reciprocating applause. 

After Pugh and Chan walked away from their seats, Styles and Kroll kissed and hugged each other.

‘DWD’ received mixed reviews following its Venice premiere

Florence Pugh and Harry Styles in the trailer for “Don’t Worry Darling.”
Warner Bros. Pictures

The film is set for release on September 23, centered on a couple (played by Pugh and Styles) that live in a utopia in the California desert in the 1950s. Critics seemed to be in agreement that Pugh’s performance was a standout in the movie, but they weren’t impressed by the storytelling. 

Steph Green of BBC said that “DWD” is “frequently rudimentary and repetitious – hammering home the same basic point about gender politics while a dulled supporting cast fails to add much color to the story’s margins.”

“This is a story bursting with big ideas, from a critique of capitalism rhetoric and the nuclear family to issues relating to coercive control and even online radicalization, but not all are fully formed,” said Helen O’Hara of  Empire magazine

David Fear of Rolling Stone wrote that the movie is “undeniably gorgeous,” but there’s “too much and not enough happening in their tale of throwback Americana as a female empowerment parable and a f*ck you to the patriarchy.”

“Wilde’s failure here is primarily one of imagination,” said Justin Chang of the Los Angeles Times. “Her movie is competently acted, handsomely crafted and not half as disturbing as it wants to be. It’s nothing to worry about.”

Leave a Reply

Back to top button