While Florence Pugh seems to have largely opted out of any obligations requiring her to promote Don’t Worry Darling as the film’s ongoing behind-the-scenes drama took center stage, her fellow cast member KiKi Layne took a different approach to let her gripes about the film be known. In a social media post on Sunday, Layne called attention way her character was underutilized in Olivia Wilde’s psychological thriller.
“The best thing about #DontWorryDarling is that I was lucky enough to meet Ari’el Stachel,” Layne captioned the post with her cast mate, who portrayed her husband in the film. “They cut us from most of the movie, but we thriving in real life. #GotMyCheck #GotMyMan.”
In a separately shared Instagram Story post, the actress shared details of a dazzling look her character Margaret – who functions as a key player in driving the plot forward before being sidelined completely – wore in the film with the edge of a side-eye in her caption, writing: “My favorite costume designed by Arianna Phillips didn’t make it into #Don’tWorryDarling, but I would like to highlight this gorgeous jewelry from the Bulgari heritage collection.”
Layne and Stachel star as a married couple living in the Stepford-wives-Esque town in the film. Without giving away any spoilers, Stachel is only seen on screen for mere minutes, while Layne’s sparse appearances disappear from the plot entirely a little less than halfway through.
Even Stachel put a spotlight on the misuse of his character, making his TikTok debut dancing in front of tweets sharing resentment that he only delivered two lines in the film. “I can overlook a movie being bad, but I cannot overlook a movie being bad and making Ari’el Stachel a glorified extra,” one post read. “The man has a Tony! Give him more than two lines, Olivia Wilde!”
But Stachel’s role was admittedly far less essential than Layne’s, whose lack of screen time despite her integral positioning in the plot stands out even more when considering she was one of the only Black characters in the ensemble cast.
“A case could be made that an African-American character might naturally be able to see what’s really going on behind the polite society of a 1950s township with more clarity than her white counterparts,” Rolling Stone wrote in an early review of Wilde’s sophomore film. “And an even stronger case could be made that casting one of the few Black actors in your ensemble in such a barely sketched out, completely sacrificial role isn’t exactly a great look. Let’s just say this might have been thought through a little better.”
In a rather unexpected move, Pugh, who has been essentially silent about the film, celebrated Don’t Worry Darling opening in theaters with a tribute on Instagram.
“It’s here.. and ready to be seen. @dontworrydarling is in cinemas!” she wrote. “We met so many talented people, visited some insane locations, worked hard in the desert dust and looked good whilst doing so.”
She continued: “Explosions, car chases, cocktail balancing, underwater sequences, running, drinking, more running..This film was such an epic story on such a large scale to shoot, all while during peak Covid times. For that I will always be grateful. To all of you who helped make this, your dedication and love was seen daily – thank you.”