Don’t Worry Darling premiered at the Venice Film Festival yesterday, and it was a MESS. Sunday, it was announced Florence Pugh, erstwhile lead of this movie, would skip the press conference and only walk the red carpet in support of the film. Some outlets tried to play that off as a totally normal thing to happen at the world premiere of a high-profile studio film at a major international film festival, and lots of excuses were made about Pugh’s Dune 2 filming schedule, her official reason for missing the press conference. (She also didn’t attend the Telluride Film Fest over the weekend, where her other film, The Wonder, premiered. But that’s a Netflix film, and they’re notorious for not promoting their own movies, even in awards season.) However, Timothée Chalamet is the LEAD in Dune 2, and he managed a couple days off to attend the fest and support Bones And All. Also worth noting that both Dune and Darling are Warner Brothers’ films, which should make scheduling easier, as there is no outside factor to deal with. It would all be handled in-house.
I’m not throwing shade on Pugh, by the way. I get why it went down like this. “Scheduling conflict” is reasonable, and COVID is making everyone’s schedules that much harder these days, and if there was no other drama around Darling, maybe I wouldn’t have blinked twice at it. I probably would have chalked it up to an odd but unfortunate quirk of timing. But there IS drama, TONS of it. At this point, the drama has eclipsed the film. Which is unfortunate! Nobody WANTS that, but in this case, no one ever got control of the narrative surrounding Darling and now we are where we are, which is that Darling’s Venice premiere was a full-on spectator sport. There are many angles to examine here, but my favorite that emerged throughout Monday is how OVER IT Chris Pine is.
Chris Pine is not on social media—and apparently still using disposable cameras, we stan an analog king—but don’t think I haven’t noticed he has also said nothing about Don’t Worry Darling until arriving in Venice. Some will argue the film’s leads are Florence Pugh and Harry Styles, therefore, they would do all the promotion, but no, Chris Pine is a big star, and even in a supporting role, he would do some press for the film. But he’s been Team Crickets just like Pugh, but he’s not online so it didn’t stand out as much. (That’s what tipped everyone to a problem in the first place, Pugh’s lack of posts/reposts/likes online about Darling.) What DOES stand out is Chris Pine’s extreme not-here-for-it vibe all day.
Third-generation actor Chris Pine has the same look on his face listening to Harry Styles explain acting that I get whenever anyone talks about fantasy sports. Just mentally zooming right out of that moment. And then there’s whatever happened right here:
Did Harry Styles just make this about the boy sh-t?! We didn’t even KNOW there was boy sh-t until right then!
Harry Styles and Chris Pine pic.twitter.com/jkYPjxMEUm— Vulture (@vulture) September 6, 2022
People, people—what are you DOING? And WHERE is your publicity rep? Who is RUNNING this show? No one, apparently. This is ONE DAY of press, can you IMAGINE if these people had to do a whole world tour together? As for Pine, he is, once again, totally over it. Just done. He would like to be excluded from this narrative, along with Miss Flo.
Speaking of, Florence Pugh bounced out of the screening before the standing ovation was even done. The lengths of various ovations have been breathlessly reported since the festival started, but in this case, we’ll never really know how long it would have gone on for Darling because Miss Flo straight up Miss Flew On Out Of There.
For her part, Olivia Wilde said during the press conference that “the internet feeds itself” and that she doesn’t “feel the need to contribute” to the “tabloid gossip and noise out there”. One, the internet DOES feed itself…from the smorgasbord of photo assumption provided by this cast’s absolutely wild interactions. And two, it isn’t tabloid gossip! Actual journalists from legitimate trade press, like Variety’s Ramin Setoodeh, have noticed this situation:
We can definitely talk about how Olivia Wilde is being targeted by a toxic portion of Harry Styles’ fan base, but at this point, we are WAY past “tabloid gossip”. It’s very clear to literally everyone that there is an interpersonal schism between Olivia Wilde and Florence Pugh, and possibly Harry Styles and Chris Pine, too. Nothing about Darling’s Venice trip has been normal, and I’m sure everyone involved would like for the story to go away, but we’re in the Streisand Effect now. The more they insist everything is okay, the more obvious it is that nothing is okay.