For better or for worse, “Don’t Worry Darling,” certainly seemed to leave audiences reeling upon impact, and Olivia Wilde is the director who packed the punch. Following the drama surrounding her sophomore directorial debut, Wilde is speaking out about the backlash she’s faced on both a personal and professional level, including the ageism she faces on social media — likely amplified by her high profile relationship with international heartthrob Harry Styles (who’s 10 years her junior).
“It’s so interesting for me when that comes from women because I’m like, ‘Do you plan on not getting older? Or if you already are older, do you feel that you don’t deserve the same opportunities in life?'” Wilde told Elle in an Oct. 13 interview. “It’s so sad to me to look at that and realize people have such small expectations for their own lives and they are projecting those expectations onto me,” she continued. “And I reject your projections.”
After rumors started to swirl about the timeline of Wilde’s romance with Styles, her treatment of Pugh (shoutout “Miss Flo”), and her working relationship with Shia LaBeouf, the hostility took an exponentially callous turn. One of the most prominent ways in which the hate manifested itself was in ageist comments on social media platforms, but it’s something Wilde continues to observe incredulously. In addition to the personal vitriol, Wilde also found herself under fire for the film’s many sex scenes, with lead actress Florence Pugh expressing her frustration that the film was becoming overshadowed by her sex scenes with Styles. But while Wilde seemed to defend her decision, it turns out she also agrees with Pugh.
“When Florence pointed that out that this film is so much bigger and better than just the sex scenes, I was so happy that she said that because I feel the same way.”
“I was interested in acknowledging female pleasure that doesn’t come from penetration,” Wilde said. “But it’s interesting because Florence very wisely pointed out that a lot of attention has been given to the sex scenes. And I think she’s so right. I completely agree with her that it’s overshadowing everything else that the movie’s about, which is so interestingly ironic because one of the uses of sex in Victory is as a tool of distraction,” she said, drawing a parallel to the city in the film. “When Florence pointed that out that this film is so much bigger and better than just the sex scenes, I was so happy that she said that because I feel the same way.”