“Don’t Worry Darling” broke the internet with its first trailer, which included a scene in which Harry Styles’ character performs oral sex on Florence Pugh’s character on a dining room table. It turns out there would’ve been even more provocative scenes featured in the trailer had director Olivia Wilde gotten her way. The filmmaker told the Associated Press that the MPA ratings board “came down hard” on the original cut of the trailer and forced her to remove additional scenes that were deemed too risqué.
“There’s a lot that had to be taken out of the trailer,” Wilde said when asked by the AP about including a “sex act” in the trailer. “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 it took it up another notch. But of course we still live in a really puritanical society. 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.”
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Wilde shared similar thoughts in her Variety cover story, saying, “Female pleasure, the best versions of it that you see nowadays, are in queer films. 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.”
In her AP interview, Wilde said that “people are upset with me already over this,” referencing the film’s oral sex scene. “I think it’s a testament to the film. We want to be provocative. The idea is not to make you feel safe.”
“Don’t Worry Darling” lead actor Florence Pugh has expressed frustration over the reception to the movie’s trailer, as that brief glimpse of the oral sex scene has dominated buzz about the psychological thriller ever since. Pugh criticized viewers for reducing the entire film to one sex scene.
“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 said in an interview with Harper’s Bazaar. “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.”
“Don’t Worry Darling” premieres Sept. 5 at the Venice Film Festival. Warner Bros. is set to open the film in theaters on Sept. 23.
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