People are calling out Olivia Wilde for praising rumored beau Harry Styles for doing the bare minimum in Don't Worry Darling. On Feb. 15, in honor of the film wrapping, Olivia posted a behind-the-scenes photo of Harry alongside a caption thanking him for allowing "a woman to hold the spotlight," in reference to costar Florence Pugh. "Little known fact: most male actors don't want to play supporting roles in female-led films. The industry has raised them to believe it lessens their power (i.e financial value) to accept these roles, which is one of the reasons it's so hard to get financing for movies focusing on female stories," she said.
"No joke, it is harrrrrd to find actors who recognize why it might be worth it to allow for a woman to hold the spotlight," she continued. "Enter: @harrystyles, our 'Jack.' Not only did he relish the opportunity to allow for the brilliant @florencepugh to hold center stage as our 'Alice,' but he infused every scene with a nuanced sense of humanity. He didn't have to join our circus, but he jumped on board with humility and grace, and blew us away every day with his talent, warmth, and ability to drive backwards. 👊 #dontworrydarling." People were quick to point out that it felt off that Olivia would praise Harry so heavily for a supporting role in a film led by Florence, with little mention of the lead.
"Little known fact: most male actors don't want to play supporting roles in female-led films. The industry has raised them to believe it lessens their power (i.e financial value) to accept these roles."
Taken out of context, this does seem odd, however, Olivia had previously posted a behind-the-scenes photo of Florence on her Instagram on Feb. 14. In the caption, she said, "To work with an actor as talented and brave as @florencepugh is any director's dream. I will forever be grateful for you, Flo. It was an honor to be your captain. Can't wait for the world to see the astonishing work you've put into this movie. Tom Cruise run + Meryl skills = THE FLO. Special thanks to no one for telling me a i had tape stuck to my butt in this moment. I LOVE YOU, DON'T WORRY DARLING ♥️♥️♥️"
It's also worth noting that Olivia posted tributes on her Instagram to her Don't Worry Darling cinematographer Matthew Libatique and Chris Pine, who also stars in a supporting role in the film. She even thanked Chris for his characterization "without ever highjacking our intentions or stepping on our toes. He was there to serve the piece in any way he could."
Is she also applauding a male actor for doing the bare minimum? Yes, but it comes on the heels of a terrible experience with another actor in the same role.
Shia LaBeouf was originally cast in the role of Jack but was fired for exhibiting poor behavior and because his style clashed with the cast and crew. This led to Olivia expanding upon her "no assholes policy," which she first mentioned in a segment from Variety's "Director on Director" series. "The no assholes policy, it puts everybody on the same level," she said. "I also noticed as an actress for years how the hierarchy of the set separated the actors from the crew in this very strange way that serves no one."
When looking at Olivia's captions about Harry and Chris, in addition to the firing of Shia and her "no assholes" policy, she seems to be making a commentary on the industry versus a slight to Florence. Is she also applauding a male actor for doing the bare minimum? Yes, but it comes on the heels of a terrible experience with another actor in the same role rather than her just applauding Harry because they're rumored to be dating.