Last week, Florence Pugh expressed her discomfort at the way her upcoming movie, don’t worry babyis placed on the market.
The Academy Award nominee said she wasn’t in the acting industry to be reduced to her appearance in a sex scene, with much of the publicity surrounding the psychological thriller coming from her on-screen relationship with her costar, Harry Styles.
The two actors play married couple Alice and Jack in the film, which is set in the 1950s, and viewers were stunned by the inclusion of an incredibly raunchy sex scene in the film’s very first trailer in May.
In the clip, Harry’s Jack and Florence’s Alice enjoy a steamy make-out session before Jack pushes his wife on the kitchen table and performs oral sex on her.
The film’s director, Olivia Wilde, previously said that this moment was a priority for her in the film because she wanted her audience to “experience how rarely they see female hunger, and specifically this kind of female pleasure.”
But Olivia’s lead actress seems to have a very different point of view, and people thought Florence was calling out Olivia when she criticized the film’s hypersexualization during a recent interview with Harper’s Bazaar.
“If it’s reduced to your sex scenes, or seeing the most famous man in the world take someone down, that’s not why we do it,” she told the publication. “It’s not why I’m in this industry.”
“Of course, the nature of hiring the most famous pop star in the world, you’re going to have conversations like that,” Florence added, referring to Olivia’s friend Harry. “That’s just not what I’m going to talk about because [this movie is] bigger and better than that. And the people who made it are bigger and better than that.”
Just days after Florence’s interview was released, Variety published its own profile of Olivia, reinforcing how different the two actors’ perspectives are.
In fact, the very first paragraph of Olivia’s interview highlighted her pride in her on-screen female character’s orgasm in don’t worry baby.
“Men don’t come in this movie,” she told Variety. “Only women here!”
“Female pleasure, the best versions of it you see these days are in queer movies,” Olivia said. “Why are we more comfortable with female pleasure when it’s two women on film? In film heterosex scenes, the focus on men as recipients of pleasure is almost ubiquitous.”
And she continued to focus on the movie’s sex scenes as the chat progressed, where she directly contradicted Florence’s comments by saying that they are actually “integral” in the story.
“It’s all about directness and extreme passion for each other. The impractical nature of their sex speaks to their savage desire for each other,” explains Olivia. “I think it’s an integral part of the story itself and how the audience should connect with them. My early conversations with the cast were all about how the audience should buy the fantasy.”
Olivia first started drawing attention to don’t worry baby‘s sex scenes wrapped in December 2021, 10 months after filming.
At the time, she told Vogue that her goal was to make sex scenes with this project again. She also said she wanted to emphasize how “incredibly riotous” the ’50s could be.
“I kept saying, ‘Why isn’t there any good sex in the movie anymore?'” Olivia explained, saying she took inspiration from other movies set in the same era that were “really sexy in a mature way.” .”
And when the trailer was praised for passing “the Clit Test”, she couldn’t hide her pride and posted the Clit Test Instagram post celebrating her for “showing it how to do it” and getting it done. adds: “We love the @clit.test!”
But their differing perspectives on the sex scenes in the film aren’t the only reason people suspect there is tension between Florence and Olivia.
When she was first cast in the film in 2020, Florence was open about how excited she was to be working with the director, whom she referred to as her “idol.”
At the time, actor Shia LaBeouf was slated to play Jack, and Florence shared a screenshot announcing her engagement on her Instagram page along with a lengthy caption that read: “@oliviawilde just tagged me in a photo *gasp no.1* @oliviawilde cast me in a movie *gasp no.2* @oliviawilde is my idol and allowed me to be part of this fucking incredible cast. Shia?!? Kris?!? *gasp no.3*”
“I can’t wait to join this project when this is all over,” she continued, referring to the COVID-19 pandemic. Until then, masks on. Gloves on. Stay at home. Read script 17,000 because.. you know.. it’s @oliviawilde!! #do not worry.”
But by the time filming ended in February 2021, Florence’s social media approach had changed dramatically, marking the close with a selection of behind-the-scenes photos.
Olivia was notably absent from Florence’s incredibly lengthy caption praising several crew members for their roles in the film.
The British actor has also promoted don’t worry baby significantly less than her other projects, and although she is mostly active and vocal on social media, she simply wrote: “’Not everyone gets this chance…’ Not long now! In theaters only September 23 #dontworrydarling” when she shared her first Instagram grid post of 2022 about the film. The message came just five days before her Harper’s Bazaar interview was published.
And while we’re on the subject, when Olivia posted the cover of Florence on her Instagram story and offered her congratulations on the interview, Florence didn’t repost it. However, she emphatically reposted the similar message from her costar Gemma Chan, as well as one from fashion designer Harris Reed.
This wasn’t the first time Florence has ignored Olivia on Instagram, as she failed to acknowledge Olivia’s tribute to her posted in July alongside the caption: “It was such a damn thrill to see this woman at work! I can can’t wait to show you more. @florencepug.”
Variety also revealed that Florence had refused to talk to them as part of Olivia’s profile.
As a result, there has been plenty of speculation about what happened between Florence and Olivia between April 2020 and February 2021.
In addition to their obvious disagreements about don’t worry baby‘s sex scenes, Olivia’s relationship with Harry is also thought to have been a factor.
Sources previously claimed that Florence was “uncomfortable” with the way the new couple “sit over each other on set” during filming, also suggesting that Florence had to “direct parts of the film” as a result.
Shortly after filming wrapped, Olivia sparked a reaction when she shared a gushing Instagram post praising Harry for being willing to take on a supporting role in a “female-led” movie.
Many took this as an example of men getting a pat on the back for the bare minimum, with journalist Roisin O’Conner summarizing at the time: “It’s bizarre that she thinks that with one acting project released where he deserves such a huge round of applause for awarding the lead role to a literal Oscar-nominated actor.”
Despite the previous investigation, Olivia echoed this stance in her new interview, celebrating Harry for being “such a strong supporter of [Florence’s]like someone who understood it was her movie.”
Meanwhile, Florence has an established reputation for using her social media page to address rumors or hit back at negative and untrue posts.
She spoke out more than once after her relationship with ex-boyfriend Zach Braff came under scrutiny, and in May she shut down reports that she was dating her boyfriend Will Poulter.
Last month, Florence used her online profile to address the “vulgar” comments about her body following her appearance at a Valentino fashion show.
As a result, people think that Florence’s silence on rumors about her and Olivia’s professional relationship as speculation continues to grow is incredibly telling.
Representatives for Olivia and Florence did not respond to BuzzFeed News’ request for comment.