The New York premiere of Don’t Worry Darling happened last night. It had already been previously confirmed for a couple of weeks that Florence Pugh, the film’s lead, would not be in attendance – because of scheduling conflicts… which… is still a thing for me. Promoting a film is part of an actor’s job, it’s often worked into a contract, and the fact that Florence is basically tapping out on this says a lot about how much tension there must be behind the scenes but also, like is the studio just OK with this?! How much negotiation was happening between her agents and her manager for Florence to get a pass on this? And did the negotiation include a concession in the form of a video message?
There was another cast member missing from the premiere last night: Chris Pine. Chris and Miss Flo appeared onscreen to deliver this message:
So Chris apparently also has scheduling conflicts. But there’s a lot to unpack here too, non? You’ll note that Flo thanked people for coming “to experience Don’t Worry Darling in IMAX”, which is just a polite thing to do, and it’s facts – people were there to see a movie called Don’t Worry Darling – but it’s Chris who “guarantee[s] it’ll be a thrilling ride”, which is an actual endorsement of the film… something that Flo has deftly sidestepped.
Chris, if you recall, and how you forget, got dragged into this mess in Venice when Harry Styles’s Phantom Spit landed on his lap and they both had to issue statements about how he wasn’t spat on. (WHAT IS THIS WORLD!? One of the biggest gossip stories of the year involves a mega popstar maybe but not really spitting on the Chris most people think is the Best Chris!?) So it’s understandable if he’s keeping his distance from this heatscore. He might be saying he has work commitments that are preventing him from showing up and that might be true but there are a lot of people who won’t believe it, given the clusterf-ck this film’s rollout has been so far. And this latest absence is only adding to that…
As for Harry and Olivia Wilde, they were there of course and while they didn’t pose together or stand next to each other in the group shot, they were seen leaving the screening together which means that, much to the disappointment of the segment of Harry’s fandom that hates Olivia, all this drama hasn’t affected their relationship.
But has it affected the film’s performance? Don’t Worry Darling opens on Friday. Some analysts say the controversy could help the film at the box office with awareness and people going to see the movie out of gossip curiosity. Others are saying that the reviews aren’t helping because independent of the drama surrounding the movie, critics aren’t warming to it and even if people come out initially to see what the fuss is about, it won’t have staying power if it’s simply just not a very good film.
Whether or not it’s a hit next weekend though, Don’t Worry Darling will still be a conversation next Monday morning, guaranteed.