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Olivia Wilde Praises Harry Styles For Supporting Role In Female-Led Film — But He’s Just Doing The Bare Minimum

Photo: Featureflash Photo Agency & Quinn Jeffrey / Shutterstock
Olivia Wilde and Harry Styles

Olivia Wilde and Harry Styles have been the talk of the tabloids ever since their rumored romance made waves online. 

Wilde, who directed the female-led film Don’t Worry Darling, starring Florence Pugh and Olivia’s maybe-boyfriend Harry Styles, recently took to Instagram to praise Styles for being a supporting actor and letting Pugh shine in the spotlight as the lead actress.

Olivia Wilde’s post, which garnered over 500,000 likes at the time of this publication, reads:

“Little known fact: most male actors don’t want to play supporting roles in female-led films. The industry has raised them to believe it lessens their power (i.e financial value) to accept these roles, which is one of the reasons it’s so hard to get financing for movies focusing on female stories. 

No joke, it is harrrrrd to find actors who recognize why it might be worth it to allow for a woman to hold the spotlight. Enter: @harrystyles, our ‘Jack’ . Not only did he relish the opportunity to allow for the brilliant @florencepugh to hold center stage as our ‘Alice’, but he infused every scene with a nuanced sense of humanity. 

He didn’t have to join our circus, but he jumped on board with humility and grace, and blew us away every day with his talent, warmth, and ability to drive backwards.”

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While Wilde’s post praising Styles received a ton of praise itself, some social media users pointed out that Styles was literally just doing the job he was hired for.

“I love olivia wilde but girl [grimace emoji] why are we praising men for doing the bare minimum. it's literally his job,” one fan tweeted, while another said, “Florence Pugh is the one leading. He didn’t allow anything. He’s getting praise for doing his job, wow. Yeah we know they’re dating, but this is a bad take.”

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Another Twitter user casually pointed out the fact that Wilde’s praise for Pugh was totally dependent on Styles, which again, is kind of defeating the purpose .

“Not Olivia Wilde trying to tell us that Florence Pugh being f****** awesome is all thanks to her casting her boyfriend,” the social media user tweeted. 

And they’re right.

Nothing against Harry Styles, because by all accounts, he seems like a stand-up dude, and it’s understandable where Olivia Wilde is coming from. 

It’s also important to note that Wilde penned a post praising Pugh for her work in Don’t Worry Darling before she posted her tribute to Harry Styles. 

However, her tribute to her “leading lady” was incredibly short and — how do I say — not as passionate in comparison:

“To work with an actor as talented and brave as @florencepugh is any director’s dream. 

I will forever be grateful for you, Flo. It was an honor to be your captain. Can’t wait for the world to see the astonishing work you’ve put into this movie. 

Tom Cruise run + Meryl skills = THE FLO. Special thanks to no one for telling me a [sic] i had tape stuck to my butt in this moment. I LOVE YOU, DON’T WORRY DARLING [hearts].”

While it’s great that Olivia Wilde has taken the time to publicly give credit to the actors, actresses, and production crew on the set of Don’t Worry Darling, it’s a stark reminder that we need to stop praising men for doing the absolute bare minimum when it comes to “letting women lead,” because let’s face it: women don’t need men to let them lead.

We need people to recognize that women are fully capable of leading, regardless if it’s in film or television, in the boardroom, in the household — wherever — without the assistance of a man. 

That’s not to say that Harry Styles deserves zero praise for his work on the highly anticipated film — but we can’t celebrate the success of women-led anything if we’re not fully giving credit where the credit is due.

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Olivia Jakiel is an editor and writer who covers celebrity and entertainment news. Follow her on Instagram and keep up with her zingers on Twitter