To summarize, Florence has admitted that she is unhappy with the hypersexualized way that the movie is being marketed, something that Olivia has been actively pushing and encouraging.
Olivia’s relationship with Florence’s costar, Harry Styles, was also said to have been a huge source of contention, with Florence reported to have directed parts of the movie because Olivia was so distracted by her growing romance.
But things really came to a head less than two weeks ago, after Olivia publicly claimed that she had fired Shia LaBeouf due to his “combative energy” and her need to “protect” Florence and make sure that she felt “safe” on set.
Shia had originally been cast to play Harry’s character, Jack, but abruptly left the project before filming began.
Olivia told Variety last month: “For our film, what we really needed was an energy that was incredibly supportive. Particularly with a movie like this, I knew that I was going to be asking Florence to be in very vulnerable situations, and my priority was making her feel safe and making her feel supported.”
But in response to Olivia’s comments, Shia sent the publication a series of receipts that seemingly proved that he’d actually chosen to walk away from the movie due to a lack of rehearsal time — and Olivia had tried her hardest to convince him to stay.
In a video recording that Olivia sent to Shia two days after he’d officially quit, she said that Florence — who she referred to as “Miss Flo” — needed a “wake-up call” as she begged him to come back to Don’t Worry Darling, directly contradicting what she’d said in public.
Soon after the clip leaked online, it was confirmed that Florence’s only press commitment for the psychological thriller would be attending Monday’s premiere at Venice Film Festival.
And it’s fair to say that more happened during that one event than most promo tours achieve in a year.
Here is a rundown of exactly what happened during Don’t Worry Darling’s much-anticipated press day, and be warned, it’s even messier than you think it’ll be.
Ahead of the red carpet premiere, Olivia and the cast of the movie attended a press conference that Florence was notably absent from as the film’s lead.
Olivia was joined by Harry, Chris Pine, and Gemma Chan as a moderator fielded questions from journalists. Towards the end of the conference, someone finally acknowledged the elephant in the room and inquired about Florence’s absence.
“It’s a shame not to have Florence here,” the journalist began. “Can you just clear the air and address if there’s been a falling out there and if so why? Because it’s something people are discussing.”
Olivia looked uncomfortable but heaped praise on her leading lady’s work before suggesting that the reason that she missed the conference was due to filming commitments for Dune: Part Two in Budapest.
She hinted that Florence wasn’t able to get to Venice before that evening’s premiere, saying: “Florence is a force and we are so grateful she’s able to make it tonight despite being in production on Dune. I know as a director how disruptive it is to lose an actor, even for a day, so I’m very grateful to her, I’m grateful to [Dune: Part Two’s director] Denis Villeneuve for helping us, and we’re really thrilled we get to celebrate her work tonight.”
So when Florence arrived at the festival before the Don’t Worry Darling press conference had even finished — with an Aperol Spritz in hand and seemingly not a care in the world — it was clear that this wasn’t the case.
Olivia also refused to deny the claims that they're embroiled in a feud, instead saying: “As for all the endless tabloid gossip and all the noise out there, I mean, the internet feeds itself. I don’t feel the need to contribute, I think it’s sufficiently well nourished.”
And when a second reporter tried to ask a follow-up question that was more specifically about Shia’s exposé, he was awkwardly shut down by the press moderator before Olivia could reply.
Olivia was overheard thanking the mod for cutting the journalist off as they waited for another question to be asked instead.
After the conference, the cast sat down for some more interviews and Harry was paired with Chris to discuss the movie.
Harry is perhaps best known for being one-fifth of One Direction and a Grammy Award–winning solo musician. While he has more movie projects lined up, Don’t Worry Darling is only his second acting gig following a bit part in Dunkirk in 2017.
And the star’s lack of experience became a huge talking point as he went viral for his bizarre recollection of working on Don’t Worry Darling during his interview with his costar.
Harry told the press, “My favorite thing about the movie is, like, it feels like a movie,” while Chris silently sat beside him and stared into the void.
One person shared a close-up video of Chris listening to Harry’s answer and tweeted: “You can almost see the screams catching in his throat.” Another person wrote: “I'm sorry I do love Harry Styles but Chris Pine disassociating whilst he's speaking nonsense is just tooooo funny.”
One more joked: “You know chris pine is a good actor bc idk how he kept a straight face throughout this whole monologue.”
Once all of the interviews were done, it was time for the premiere, and Florence made sure that she stole the show in a jaw-dropping confetti-studded Valentino couture dress.
The black gown, which had sheer detailing, huge puff sleeves, and a flowing train, served drama in every possible way, and people were obsessed with the power behind Florence’s look.
Perhaps no one was more obsessed than Florence's stylist, Rebecca Corbin-Murray, who shared a series of photos of the actor posing in the outfit on Instagram with a cheeky reference to Olivia’s leaked jab at her.
“Miss Flo,” Rebecca’s simple-but-effective caption read, with Florence seemingly giving the retort her seal of approval by liking the post.
Florence also appeared to subtly allude to her and Olivia’s rumored rift during a red carpet interview about the movie, where she said: “I think it’s very, very inspiring to see a woman push back and say ‘no’ and question everything, and it’s very exciting to see a woman do that [on] and off camera. I’m so lucky that I get to do that, especially in this role.”
But when pushed for an example of a time when she’d said “no,” Florence didn’t take the bait and instead joked: “When someone says I can’t have cake!”
While the tension between Florence and the rest of the Don’t Worry Darling production as a whole has become palpable in recent months, there appeared to be no bad blood between her and the supporting cast, who were visibly thrilled to reunite with the star.
In fact, Florence was pictured enthusiastically greeting Chris, Gemma, Sydney Chandler, and Nick Kroll on the red carpet.
They all pointedly hyped Florence up as she posed for the photographers, with Nick and Chris even joining the swarm as they snapped photos of their pal while she playfully performed for the cameras.
While Nick whipped out his phone to take the pics, you could almost hear Chris shouting, “you’re doing amazing, sweetie,” as he channeled his inner Kris Jenner with a disposable camera and leaned forward with a proud smile on his face to get the best pictures of Florence.
In fact, the only people that Florence didn’t interact with on the carpet were Olivia and Harry, and the fun-loving mood visibly soured when it was time for everybody to line up for a group photo.
The supporting cast served as buffers as they stood between Florence, Olivia, and Harry — with Harry also appearing to avoid Olivia, prompting speculation that they have ended their relationship.
In one video, a member of the staff can be seen seemingly trying to get Harry to move so that he is standing beside Olivia for the group shot, but he doesn’t budge. Chris ended up beside her instead.
Sharing a clip of Harry’s apparent snub, one person tweeted: “THE LADY TRYING TO GET HARRY TO STAND NEXT TO OLIVIA IM DYING.” Another echoed: “I’m sorry but [the] woman desperately trying to get harry to stand next to olivia and harry just pretending not to notice is too funny.”
And despite Harry and Florence being the movie’s leads, there also aren’t any solo photos of them together, or even next to each other, from the entire premiere.
This dynamic continued indoors, when the cast took their seats for the film’s screening. Once again, Olivia, Harry, and Florence were all separated by other actors — with Chris seated between Olivia and Harry, and Gemma between Harry and Florence.
This fueled already-mounting speculation about Harry and Olivia’s relationship status, with one person tweeting: “No one can convince me that harry and Olivia are together, atleast not anymore.”
Someone else echoed: “Sorry there’s no way Harry and Olivia are together after today ? Bc wtf was that.”
“There is no way that harry and olivia are still together (if they were ever actually together at all) like the videos from yesterday omg he’s literally ignoring her at every opportunity,” someone else claimed.
And this was highlighted when Harry took his seat beside Chris and appeared to avoid eye contact with Olivia as she looked over to him.
But something even more bizarre appeared to happen as Harry approached, which sent many on social media into an absolute meltdown.
In a baffling video, Harry can be seen taking his seat while Chris, who was already seated, applauds his entrance.
Just before Harry sat down, Chris looked shocked as he suddenly stopped clapping and glanced down at his lap. He paused for a moment before slightly shaking his head in apparent disbelief and smiling to himself.
Needless to say, many people wondered what had triggered this reaction, and upon closer inspection — in a twist that nobody saw coming — it was theorized that Harry had spat onto Chris’s leg.
Sharing a slow-motion gif of the video, someone matter-of-factly tweeted: “He 100% spit on Chris Pine.”
And fans went into a fever pitch as it was noted that Harry definitely appeared to make a spitting movement with his mouth immediately before Chris stopped his applause. The glance at his lap also appeared to perfectly coordinate with where Harry’s spit would have landed on him.
Understandably, many people were confused as to why Harry would have done this and leaped to his defense as they tried to find an alternative reason for Chris’s reaction.
Some noted that the video ended with Chris picking up his sunglasses from his seat, and claimed that he’d stopped clapping and appeared bemused because he’d found them after thinking they were lost.
However, this theory was quickly debunked when it was pointed out that Chris was holding the glasses a second earlier, and was unlikely to have forgotten where he’d put them so quickly.
Others wondered if this was an inside joke between the two men as they pointed out that Chris didn’t seem angry about it, with one person saying of the video: “When i look at this i see an inside joke i don’t know about. chris pine is chewing his gum and harry drops either spit or gum and chris is trying to hard not to laugh while harry is trying to play it cool like he didn’t do anything.”
Someone else agreed: “Y’all. This looks like Harry def did something, but not as shade. Looks like an inside joke between them and Chris can’t retaliate in front of all these people. He’s clearly amused lol.”
A rep for Chris has since confirmed that the incident was actually just the result of ill-timed body language from the stars, saying in a statement: "This is a ridiculous story — a complete fabrication and the result of an odd online illusion that is clearly deceiving and allows for foolish speculation. Just to be clear, Harry Styles did not spit on Chris Pine. There is nothing but respect between these two men and any suggestion otherwise is a blatant attempt to create drama that simply does not exist."
Brushing off whatever did happen with his costar, Chris tickled fans when he was spotted putting his sunglasses on as the lights went out for the screening to begin, with some claiming that it was a sign that he planned to take a nap.
But if you thought that Don’t Worry Darling starting would mark an end to the real-life drama, you couldn’t be more wrong.
As is Venice Film Festival tradition, the movie received a standing ovation from the audience, and it was initially claimed that Florence purposefully avoided eye contact with Olivia throughout the cheers.
However, a new video has revealed what appears to be the two women’s only interaction from the evening. In a clip, Olivia can be seen looking in Florence’s direction by peering behind the three people who are standing between them.
In the clip, Harry first of all notices Olivia’s body language and turns to see who it is aimed at. When he realizes that it is Florence and that she is responding positively to it, he does a visible double take and has an extremely confused look on his face.
“Harry looking back and forth super confused is the best part,” one person commented on the video. Another wrote: “Harry couldn’t believe his eyes.”
Someone else said: “Harry was so confused pleaseee 💀😭”
But despite the fleeting courteous display between Olivia and Florence, it was reported that Florence cut the standing ovation short when she started to leave the movie theater after three minutes of applause.
Variety claimed: “The ovation would probably have gone on longer if Pugh hadn’t made her way for the exit about three minutes into the clapping, prompting the rest of the cast — with Wilde at the end — to follow her.”
In one final turn of events, Harry didn’t leave before kissing his costar, Nick, on the lips. While it’s unknown what prompted the quick smooch, Harry was the one who instigated by approaching Nick — but Nick was certainly happy to oblige, and pulled Harry in for a sweet embrace afterward.
Thus concludes what was probably one of the most drama-filled movie premieres in history.
And if you’re wondering what the critics made of Don’t Worry Darling amid the storm that has shrouded it, it currently has a 46% rating on review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes.
Olivia, Harry, and Chris have yet to post about Monday’s premiere on social media. Meanwhile, Florence shared a selection of photos of herself and her grandma on the red carpet alongside a lengthy and emotional caption about her joy at having “Granzo Pat” by her side for the evening.
She did not acknowledge Don’t Worry Darling at all in her post, and neither did she mention any of her costars.