In an Instagram post Monday, the director praised Styles for enthusiastically joining the cast of her psychological thriller, while letting his co-star Florence Pugh hold the spotlight. Wilde’s post also marks the first time she has publicly commented about Styles since rumors started circulating earlier this year that the two are a couple.
“Little known fact: most male actors don’t want to play supporting roles in female-led films,” Wilde, 36, wrote, captioning a black-and-white photo of Styles, 27. “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.”
As a result, Wilde added, “it is harrrrrd to find actors who recognize why it might be worth it to allow for a woman to hold the spotlight.” But according to the “Booksmart” director, Styles was happy to let Pugh shine.
“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,” she continued. “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.”
“Don’t Worry, Darling,” marks the first time Styles and Wilde have worked together on a project. In September, Entertainment Weekly reported that Styles replaced Shia LaBeouf in the film, after LaBeouf dropped out due to scheduling conflicts.
In early January, tabloid photos and videos surfaced showing Wilde and Styles holding hands while attending Styles’ manager Jeffrey Azoff’s wedding in California. Neither Styles nor Wilde have commented publicly about the nature of their relationship, and their representatives have not responded to USA TODAY’s requests for comment.
Wilde was previously engaged to actor Jason Sudeikis for seven years, before People and Entertainment Tonight reported in November that they had split. They share two children: son Otis, 6, and daughter Daisy, 4.
On Sunday, the director also praised the “talented and brave” Pugh, writing on Instagram that working with the “Little Women” star is “any director’s dream.”
“I will forever be grateful for you, Flo,” she added. “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.”
Another Instagram post from Wilde on Sunday seemed to indicate that production of the film wrapped.
“We did it,” she wrote. “It wasn’t easy. But we (expletive) did the damn thing.”
Contributing: Hannah Yasharoff