Olivia Wilde revealed the original trailer for “Don’t Worry Darling” was too wild for the Motion Pictures Association.
The preview for the 1950s-set psychological thriller featured Florence Pugh and Harry Styles entangled in a myriad of compromising sexual positions, with their throbbing marital desire culminating in cunnilingus on the kitchen table. Yet director Wilde shared that the MPA cut out the truly tantalizing sequences from the R-rated feature, in theaters September 23.
“Oh, yeah. There’s a lot that had to be taken out of the trailer,” Wilde told the Associated Press ahead of the “Don’t Worry Darling” world premiere at the Venice Film Festival. “The MPA came down hard on me and the trailer at the last second and I had to cut some shots, which I was upset about because I thought they took it up another notch.”
Wilde speculated the drastic cuts were due to “Don’t Worry Darling” releasing in the U.S., where “we still live in a really puritanical society” albeit with a new level of conservatism towards intercourse and sensuality.
“Audiences aren’t as puritanical as corporations think they are,” the “Booksmart” director said. “And yet people get upset. I mean, people are upset with me already over this. I think it’s a testament to the film. We want to be provocative. The idea is not to make you feel safe.”
She added, “I do think the lack of eroticism in American film is kind of new. Then when it comes to female pleasure, it’s something that we just don’t see very often unless you’re talking about queer cinema.”
According to Wilde, queer cinema is where “female characters are allowed to have more pleasure” onscreen.
Wilde previously promised that “Don’t Worry Darling” would distinctly focus on “female hunger, and specifically this type of female pleasure” in a December 2021 Vogue cover story. Adrian Lyne’s “Fatal Attraction” and “Indecent Proposal” were inspirations for the feature, co-written by Katie Silberman.
“[Those movies are] really sexy, in a grown-up way,” Wilde said at the time. “I kept saying, ‘Why isn’t there any good sex in film anymore?’”
Wilde similarly gave a call to action for sex onscreen in a recent Variety cover interview, saying, “Why are we more comfortable with female pleasure when it’s two women on film? In hetero sex scenes in film, the focus on men as the recipients of pleasure is almost ubiquitous.”
She also issued a warning for “Don’t Worry Darling,” adding, “Men don’t come in this film. Only women here!”
“Don’t Worry Darling” lead star Pugh spoke out regarding the sexuality of the upcoming film with a distinctly different take than Wilde.
“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. It’s not why I’m in this industry,” Pugh told Harper’s Bazaar of starring opposite Grammy winner Styles. “Obviously, the nature of hiring the most famous pop star in the world, you’re going to have conversations like that. 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.”
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