Self-inflicted wounds are always the most fascinating to analyze, right? I thought of that when a few veteran P.R. people texted me this week asking how Olivia Wilde, an exciting new filmmaker and recently the subject of a fierce bidding war, had suddenly turned the press for her own movie into a snakepit of tabloid headlines and social media bile.
Google “Don’t Worry Darling” right now. Actually, don’t. It’s depressing. Tons of media attention, sure, and who knows, maybe the noise will generate a huge lookie-loo turnout on Sept. 23. Nonstop headlines—good, bad, whatever—might actually be what it takes to break through these days. But the frenzy has almost nothing to do with the actual movie, or even the very famous pop star Harry Styles’ performance in it, and certainly nothing to do with Wilde as a talented director. And that’s thanks in major part to Wilde’s own comments.