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Don’t Worry Darling’s Olivia Wilde Explains Why She Had To Cut Steamy Footage From The Trailer

Harry Styles and Florence Pugh in Don't Worry Darling
(Image credit: Warner Bros. Pictures)

Don’t Worry Darling has gone through a ton of media coverage for the past two years, and the film hasn’t even been out yet. From rumors of Shia LaBeouf allegedly getting fired from the movie to claims of “toxic negativity” that came from Harry Styles’, relationship with director Olivia Wilde, it’s a wonder if people remember what Don’t Worry Darling is actually about. Next in the drama mill for Olivia Wilde’s sophomore directorial effort was her having to explain why she had to cut steamy footage from the trailer.

Movie trailers are a great way to give audiences a taste of what to expect from an upcoming movie. Olivia Wilde spoke to The Associated Press about her disappointment in being told she couldn’t include more steamy footage in the trailer as those scenes would “take it up another notch.”  

There’s a lot that had to be taken out of the trailer. The MPAA came down hard on me and the trailer at the last second and I had to cut some shots, which I was upset about because I thought they it took it up another notch. But of course we still live in a really puritanical society. I do think the lack of eroticism in American film is kind of new. Then when it comes to female pleasure, it’s something that we just don’t see very often unless you’re talking about queer cinema. You know, it’s interesting because in a lot of queer films, the female characters are allowed to have more pleasure. Audiences aren’t as puritanical as corporations think they are. And yet people get upset. I mean, people are upset with me already over this. I think it’s a testament to the film. We want to be provocative. The idea is not to make you feel safe.

Olivia Wilde has spoken before about what she wanted to communicate to audiences through the steamy scenes she directed in that females experience sexual hunger as much as men do. She felt like films haven’t created good sex scenes anymore compared to the films that inspired her like Indecent Proposal and Fatal Attraction. While I can understand the Booksmart director’s disappointment in not having scenes she’s proud of being part of a trailer that’s promoting the film, the MPAA might have good reason to make cuts if a trailer looks too graphic for general audiences. However, Don’t Worry Darling does currently have an age restriction for the most recent trailer. The trailer also could have been a red band trailer so that R-rated content would be allowed to be shown.

Don’t Worry Darling’s trailer does give audiences a cleaner version of what they’ll see in the psychological thriller. We see stars Harry Styles and Florence Pugh in fully-clothed sexy scenes including a brief scene where his character performs oral sex on her. The Little Women actress, however, isn’t happy with so much emphasis placed on these sex scenes with her comments maintaining that the film is “bigger and better than that.” If too much emphasis is placed on sex scenes with pop star Harry Styles, people will forget about the movie’s central plot of a young devoted ‘50s housewife discovering a sketchy secret about her husband’s work. I guess promoting sex scenes is one way that studios think they can sell the film well.

Other than the drama surrounding cut sex scenes from Olivia Wilde’s film, there are much more issues going around before the movie’s premiere. The 38-year-old director will have to deal with the conflicting stories of what really led to Shia LaBeouf’s exit as well as Florence Pugh not attending any press dates promoting the movie, as well as rumors surrounding a feud between Wilde and the star of her movie. Despite all of the brouhaha going on about this movie, it will all be worth it once audiences get the chance to see Wilde’s latest project.

So, steamy sex scenes may be cut from Don’t Worry Darling’s trailer, but you’ll get to see them in its uncensored fashion once it hits theaters on September 23rd.

Carly Levy
Entertainment Writer

Just your average South Floridian cinephile who believes the pen is mightier than the sword.