Booksmart director Olivia Wilde covers the January 2022 issue of Vogue with a lot of the accompanying interview surrounding the future release of Don’t Worry Darling. That’s her followup effort, of course, which means the pressure is on after one critically acclaimed cinematic entry. In the piece, Wilde does admit that she hit up Jordan Peele (Get Out, Us) for advice on how to handle the resulting “anxiety,” and he confirmed that the sophomore process is “Oh, so terrifying, so much scarier than the first.”
With that ammunition firmly in place, Wilde went for it. She cast Florence Pugh as her lead and Harry Styles (who she does not mention by name as her current partner, although she makes it clear that she’s very happy) in (what she very pointedly describes as) a supporting role. She also makes a fair point about onscreen female pleasure in mainstream movies. One only need to remember how Blue Valentine had to lobby to overturn an NC-17 rating because Ryan Gosling’s character goes down on the character played by Michelle Williams. Wilde refers to “the thrillers of Adrian Lyne, like Fatal Attraction and Indecent Proposal,” which she looks at as inspiration (at least in the sex department). Here’s what Wilde had to offer to Vogue on the movie’s passionate scenes:
“I kept saying, ‘Why isn’t there any good sex in film anymore?’ I realize how rarely we see female hunger on film, and specifically this type of female pleasure.”
And here’s how Vogue‘s Alexandra Schwartz described how a relevant Don’t Worry Darling scene turned out:
About those scenes I watched. Let’s just say that one, featuring a hardworking Styles and a most gratified Pugh, is going to generate some serious attention — and, if the devotion of Styles’s fan base is any indication, hysteria — when Don’t Worry Darling is released. When I work up the blushing courage to ask Wilde about it, she gets technical, talking about overhead angles and wraparound shots, though she readily volunteers that she intends for her audience to “realize how rarely they see female hunger, and specifically this type of female pleasure.”
From the looks of the teaser that Wilde recently posted on Instagram, there’s delivery:
Another note about Styles: as with Chloé Zhao with The Eternals, Wilde was inspired to cast Styles after seeing him in Dunkirk, and she explained how his schedule initially led to Shia LaBeouf being cast (and that fell apart). Then Harry circled back around, and Wilde explained, “I cannot tell you how many men read the script and said, ‘Unless it’s a two-hander, unless I’m in as much — or more — of the script than she is, it’s not worth it.’” Harry didn’t play that game.
Don’t Worry Darling arrives on… September 23, 2022. That’s a long wait!