Olivia Wilde's Comment About Harry Styles Willingly Working In Female-Led Movie Sparks Debate

Harry Styles in Watermelon Sugar music video and Olivia Wilde in Her
(Image credit: (Columbia/Annapurna))

Following her laugh-out-loud, endearing directorial debut, 2019’s Booksmart, Olivia Wilde has been further establishing herself as a filmmaker with her upcoming, star-studded psychological thriller Don’t Worry Darling, and a developing Spider-Woman film for Sony. Wilde’s second movie as director recently wrapped in Los Angeles, and she had nothing but high praise for Harry Styles for taking on a supporting role in a female-led storyline.

Don’t Worry Darling stars Oscar-nominated actress Florence Pugh as a 1950's housewife living with her husband in a utopian experimental community who begins to worry that his glamorous company may be hiding disturbing secrets. Harry Styles, who will play her husband Jack, was given a huge tribute on Olivia Wilde’s Instagram this week. The post sparked a debate about male actors in Hollywood. First, check out the post here:

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In Olivia Wilde’s caption, the actor-cum-filmmaker touched on a “little known fact” that most male actors don’t want to play supporting roles in movies fronted by women. She explained how difficult it can be to find performers willing to share the spotlight in movies such as Don’t Worry Darling. That in mind, she then turned some applause toward Harry Styles (whom she is also currently dating) to say that he absolutely blew the production away with his performance – also teasing that he’ll be driving backwards in the film. Wilde split up with her husband Jason Sudeikis in early 2020, and has recently started moving on with Styles.

The post quickly sparked a number of negative responses from fans of Olivia Wilde, who felt her praise was a bit much considering male actors have no real reason to have a problem with being supporting players in the first place. As one Twitter user said:

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There’s also the point that Harry Styles is a new actor to begin with. Sure, he’s a household name thanks to his history with One Direction and singing “Watermelon Sugar,” amongst his many solo achievements over the past few years, but he still only has one other acting credit to his name. Where’s the long-winded praise for her actual female lead Florence Pugh? As another commenter said:

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There is the issue of what happened prior to Harry Styles casting that some believe she may be referring to. Before Styles came along, Shia LaBeouf was cast as Jack, but fired from the project reportedly for some bad behavior on set. The Honey Boy actor is now dealing with a lawsuit by his ex girlfriend FKA Twigs, who has set allegations of mental and physical assault. The reactions continued:

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Of course it has to be an issue in some form if Olivia Wilde is bringing it up, but as her critics refer to, equality doesn’t get far when we award gold stars for something A-list female actors have had to do no question just to get a role to begin with. That aside, we are excited to see Harry Styles in Don’t Worry Darling alongside Florence Pugh, Chris Pine and Gemma Chan. Plus, the conversation led to some love for one famous supporting actor:

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Don’t Worry Darling has wrapped production and is expected to come out in late 2021.

Sarah El-Mahmoud
Staff Writer

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.