Olivia Wilde knows “Don’t Worry Darling”‘s off-screen drama has overshadowed the movie itself. The 38-year-old director appeared on Wednesday’s episode of “The Kelly Clarkson Show” and reflected on the ongoing “soap opera” involving the cast of her flick.
“It’s hard sometimes, but at the end of the day, I’m so lucky,” she said. “I’m so lucky and there’s people dealing with so many really hard things. The people in Jackson, Mississippi, don’t have water. There’s people everywhere dealing with real health crises. My stuff is out there, but I’m alive, and my kids are alive, and that’s what gets me through.”
“I’m not on the internet, I’m not on Instagram… I think that really helps, focusing on what’s real, your trusted circle of friends, what’s real, things that make you happy, people you love, people who love you,” she said. “Just keeping your mind in what’s real, I think that’s how I get through it… I think, ‘God, it could be a lot worse. We’re alive and everything’s going to be OK.’”
Though Wilde knows as much is true on an intellectual level, she admitted that it can be “so tempting” to fight back against incorrect narratives.
“It’s so tempting and then I think of Michelle Obama [saying], ‘They go low, we go high. They go low, we go high.’ I try, but it’s hard,” she said. “And I think, ‘What am I modeling for my kids? How do I want my daughter in high school to deal with bullies?’ I want her to just keep her eye on the prize and keep going and ignore the noise. That’s what stops me from getting involved.”
“It’s just a losing battle. Once you get sucked into it, it eats you up,” Wilde added. “But yeah, of course, it’s tempting. That’s why you have your friends and have your pillow to scream into and everyone else.”
Wilde added that doesn’t disagree that much of the drama surrounding the film shows a double standard in the industry.
“I think that you find that everywhere. Every woman can kind of relate to that,” Wilde said. “… Being a female director, there’s not many of us… so I’m prepared from that. I think that when it hurts me is sometimes when it’s coming from another woman, and I’m like, ‘Can we just give each other the benefit of the doubt and just have each other’s backs?’ Wouldn’t that be great?”
“The coverage always seems to be different. I am envious of my male colleagues in the way that they seem to be able to live their lives without as much judgment,” she added. “… But in the end, I’m just lucky to have this job. I’m so grateful for it. The coverage, again, it’s just noise. If I get stuck up on it, I’ll get distracted, so I just blast through.”
“I saw ‘Midsommar’ with Florence, and then I met her and I was like, ‘That’s it. Lights out. She’s our lead,’” Wilde said, amid ongoing feud rumours between herself and the actress. “She’s outstanding. I mean, she’s unbelievable. We’re so lucky to have her as a lead. She’s the heart of the film. She’s also, like, an action hero… She’s incredible.”
As for Styles, her real-life boyfriend, Wilde wasn’t shy about praise for him either.
“I think musicians are always good… Musicians, you guys commit. You can’t not commit,” she said. “… Harry was no different. It was so professional and so committed and such a joy.”
When it comes to the making of the project, Wilde said doing so amid the COVID-19 pandemic was “really amazing because everyone just bonded.”
“We were so lucky to be making art in the midst of what was a difficult time for everybody,” she said. “We had each other’s backs and we just pulled it off.”
“Don’t Worry Darling” will hit theatres Sept. 23.
MORE FROM ET: