It was a classic Friday night surprise. After five, when almost everyone has already punched out for the weekend and the west coast is getting ready to, PEOPLE dropped the announcement that Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde have broken up.
PEOPLE, one of the most celebrity-friendly outlets there is and still the go-to for a well-timed public statement, cites an unnamed source who points to Styles’ touring schedule—he is starting the international leg of his tour this week in Mexico—and Wilde has her two young children and her work, including that Sony-Marvel project that is still technically happening, so they are “taking a break” and it was an “amicable decision”. The source also says they are “still very close friends”, while “a friend” adds that “they have different priorities that are keeping them apart”. No drama here, darlings!
Given his tour and her work and children and general inability to pick up and follow Styles around the world, this could very well be true. They met on set, when their schedules were in synch, and their relationship flourished in the pandemic when they were both working less—and Wilde was doing post-production on her film, the most remote-adaptable phase of production—but now they’re both back to full schedules and he’s going to be travelling the world for the next few months while she’s in Los Angeles with her next film and her children. Totally reasonable, could happen to anyone in this industry, let alone the most dramatic celebrity couple we’ve seen in recent memory.
But given all the previous drama, darlings, people—regular people, not PEOPLE—will insist on making this into a conspiracy about when, exactly, they broke up. Some are already claiming before the Venice premiere of Don’t Worry Darling in early September, because they were standoffish during that event. But that was pretty clearly a case of minimizing their time together to maximize attention on the film. We can debate if that was successful, but that was the obvious publicity move in the moment. Besides, they were photographed kissing in New York a couple weeks later.
About a month after that, though, Page Six noted that they appeared “stoic” during a night out amid the nanny tell-all mess. But Wilde has been to several of Styles’s concerts over the last couple months, including his “Harryween” concert on Halloween, so let’s say, reasonably, this all came about within the last three weeks. Again, it lines up with the notion of Harry departing for distant shores while Olivia remains grounded in LA being the sticking point, not any Darling-related drama. Could the outside pressure and scrutiny have gotten to them? Absolutely. But it’s also not unbelievable that two people heading in two different directions are unable to stick it out, especially as Wilde previously stated an intention to be a “stay at home mom” this year—all the more reason to NOT follow her boyfriend on a world tour.
Wilde isn’t letting the latest drama get to her, though, showing up on the Governors Awards on Saturday, just twenty-four hours after the breakup announcement. Also present: Miss Flo. They both went for sheer looks. Probably unwittingly, they fall into a representation of the public dynamic of their (non)relationship, Wilde went with a gown sporting sheer black elements, and Florence Pugh went with sheer white and gold. Literal, Disney-level heroine and villain branding. It’s Cinderella and her wicked stepmother.
In the long run, I wonder if we’ll even remember the WildeStyles relationship as the main thing about Don’t Worry Darling or will that become a footnote to the Olivia Wilde/Miss Flo drama? Now that they’ve split, a lot of the nastiness about Wilde and Styles’ relationship will, hopefully, fade. (He’s pushing thirty and a MAJOR celebrity in his own right, stop infantilizing him by pretending this MAN didn’t get into that situation with his eyes open.) There is still the drama with Jason Sudeikis to play out—does this latest development make their custody case simpler?—but as Don’t Worry Darling fades from the pop culture space, will people let go of WildeStyles? Only time will tell. For now, Twitter has officially lasted longer than WildeStyles.
Live long and gossip,