Olivia Wilde praises Harry Styles for ‘allowing for Florence Pugh to hold centre stage’ on Don’t Worry Darling

Singer stars opposite Pugh in 1950s-set psychological thriller

Isobel Lewis
Tuesday 16 February 2021 20:47
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Styles plays Jack in Wilde’s film
Styles plays Jack in Wilde’s film
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Olivia Wilde has heaped praise on Harry Styles as production wrapped on Don’t Worry Darling.

The film, which is Wilde’s feature-length follow-up to 2019’s Booksmart, is a 1950s-set thriller starring Florence Pugh and Styles as married couple Alice and Jack. The supporting cast includes Chris Pine, Gemma Chan, KiKi Layne and Nick Kroll.

With filming coming to an end over the weekend, director Wilde shared a black and white photo of Styles sat on a vintage car to her Instagram on Monday (15 January) night.

In the caption, she praised the singer for his ability to let Pugh shine on set. “Little known fact: most male actors don’t want to play supporting roles in female-led films,” Wilde wrote.

“The industry has raised them to believe it lessens their power (ie financial value) to accept these roles, which is one of the reasons it’s so hard to get financing for movies focusing on female stories. No joke, it is harrrrrd to find actors who recognise why it might be worth it to allow for a woman to hold the spotlight.”

She continued: “Enter: @harrystyles, our ‘Jack’ . Not only did he relish the opportunity to allow for the brilliant @florencepugh to hold centre stage as our ‘Alice’, but he infused every scene with a nuanced sense of humanity.

Read more: What do you think about Olivia Wilde’s comments on Harry Styles?

“He didn’t have to join our circus, but he jumped on board with humility and grace, and blew us away every day with his talent, warmth, and ability to drive backwards.”

In a separate post Wilde also praised Pugh, writing that working with the “talented and brave” actor had been “any director’s dream”.

However some critics pointed out that Styles – a relatively inexperienced actor – didn’t need to be praised for simply doing his job.

“So we are celebrating an emerging male actor for doing the job he was hired to do? We get it, you love him and he is great but this one is for bare minimum Twitter,” film critic Hanna Flint wrote, while another Twitter user responded: “The bar is set so low.”

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Read more: Emma Corrin and Harry Styles to star in Amazon’s My Policeman

Styles joined the cast of Don’t Worry Darling in December, replacing Shia LaBeouf who was reportedly dropped for “off-putting” behaviour.

In January, the “Watermelon Sugar” singer was pictured holding hands with Wilde while attending a wedding together, leading to speculation that the director and actor are dating.

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