Olivia Wilde has cited films such as “Inception” and “The Truman Show” as inspiration for her psychological thriller “Don’t Worry Darling,” but a far more unexpected source of inspiration is the incel community. Wilde told fellow actor-turned-director Maggie Gyllenhaal during a conversation for Interview Magazine that Chris Pine’s character was inspired by Jordan Peterson, the Canadian author and media personality described by Wilde as “this pseudo-intellectual hero to the incel community.”
Pine stars in “Don’t Worry Darling” as Frank, the founder of a utopian 1950s community in the desert known as the “Victory Project.” Wilde’s film, written by her “Booksmart” collaborator Katie Silberman, centers on Florence Pugh’s Alice, a Victory Project housewife who discovers her idyllic community is harboring dark secrets. Trailers for “Don’t Worry Darling” have positioned Pine’s Frank as the film’s antagonist.
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“[Incels are] basically disenfranchised, mostly white men, who believe they are entitled to sex from women,” Wilde explained to Gyllenhaal after noting Pine’s character is inspired by Peterson. “And they believe that society has now robbed them — that the idea of feminism is working against nature, and that we must be put back into the correct place.”
“They’re actually succeeding in many different ways,” Wilde continued about the incel community. “But this guy Jordan Peterson is someone that legitimizes certain aspects of their movement because he’s a former professor, he’s an author, he wears a suit, so they feel like this is a real philosophy that should be taken seriously.”
In her Variety cover story, Wilde said she did a deep dive on the “disenfranchised world of white men on the internet” before filming started and even logged onto 4chan. “I have a sick fascination with cults,” Wilde said.
Wilde had nothing but praise for Chris Pine in her conversation with Gyllenhaal. The director said Pine gave all of himself to the character despite the role being just a supporting one. Wilde added, “Chris, who I’ve known for, like, 20 years, probably agreed to do the movie at first as a favor to an old buddy, and then he really took it and ran with it.”
“Don’t Worry Darling” is world premiering Sept. 5 at the Venice Film Festival and will open in theaters Sept. 23 from Warner Bros.
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