Olivia Wilde’s Don’t Worry Darling hits theaters on Sept. 23 with Harry Styles and Florence Pugh in its leading roles as Jack and Alice. In the lead-up to the film, the tiniest interactions between its stars have been dissected and examined with a magnifying glass. One specific clip seemed to set the internet ablaze when it featured Styles and Pugh in an especially intimate moment. The “Watermelon Sugar” inspired scene quickly became the fantasy centerpiece of thousands of fan edits. But Pugh is still getting used to sharing the spotlight with one of music’s most famous stars — and she doesn’t want the blinding light to wash out the film itself.
“When it’s reduced to your sex scenes, or to watch the most famous man in the world go down on someone, it’s not why we do it,” Pugh told Harper’s Bazaar in a recent interview “It’s not why I’m in this industry.” While she says she was initially offered the supporting role of Bunny, now played by Wilde, and when the actress signed onto the film’s leading role in April 2020, she was meant to be acting alongside Shia LaBeouf. Later that year, in September, it was revealed that the actor dropped out due to alleged scheduling conflicts and had been replaced by Styles.
“Obviously, the nature of hiring the most famous pop star in the world, you’re going to have conversations like that,” Pugh added. “That’s just not what I’m going to be discussing because [this movie is] bigger and better than that. And the people who made it are bigger and better than that.”
Don’t Worry Darling marks Styles’s first major film release since making his official acting debut in Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk in 2017 when he was definitely famous but not nearly as exalted as he’s become since the releases of his latest albums, Fine Line and Harry’s House. He’s also slated to appear in Michael Grandage’s My Policeman and has reportedly inked a five-movie deal with Marvel studios to appear as Eros, the brother of the supervillain Thanos who supposedly possesses the ability to stimulate arousal from afar.
Hollywood has mostly embraced the former One Direction star, but in some instances, his fame has worked against him. Styles ambitiously went out for the lead role in Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis, which ultimately went to Austin Butler, who delivered a performance that’s already generating Oscars buzz. In an interview, Luhrmann revealed that Styles ultimately did not get the role because he’s already too much of an icon to portray another.
“Harry is a really talented actor. I would work on something with him,” he said. “The real issue with Harry is, he’s Harry Styles. He’s already an icon.”