A Complex Heroine: Academy Award-nominated Florence Pugh's Brilliant Take On Alice - Arts & Culture

You’re in for a ride as Alice played by Florence Pugh takes you into her twisted world called Victory.

Don’t Worry Darling film director Olivia Wilde says, “There’s something about Florence that is just so smart. The way she questions and considers everything. I thought, ‘That’s the quality we need for Alice.’ Once I spoke to Florence as taking on Alice, I thought, ‘Now, everything starts from this, everything starts from her instincts.’ Everything else became really clear… who we were going to surround her with came into focus based on what she was going to create.”

Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Wilde continues, “The conversations were all about how this woman needed to be everything except the kind of 1950s housewife. How it had to feel organic. You didn’t want to, for a second, question whether or not she was real or the world was real. And how the relationship between Alice and Jack had to be deeply passionate and feel really contemporary, in a sense—equal.” 

The globally acclaimed and Academy Award-nominated Pugh (Little Women, Black Widow) shares that the project piqued her interest with its provocative, relatable themes, sharing, “It’s about so many different dynamics. It’s about control, manipulation, oppression, relationships, sexual fantasies. It’s about how do you keep your life perfect and when it’s not… what are you going to do about it?”

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Alice and Jack played by Harry Styles are lucky to be living in the idealized community of Victory, the experimental company town housing the men who work for the top-secret Victory Project and their families. The 1950’s societal optimism espoused by their CEO, Frank played by Chris Pine anchors every aspect of daily life in the tight-knit desert utopia.  But when cracks in their idyllic life begin to appear, exposing flashes of something much more sinister lurking beneath the attractive façade, Alice can’t help questioning exactly what they’re doing in Victory, and why. 

Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

The idea of Victory is both a place and a way of life, according to Pugh: “Victory is perfection. Victory is when you are young and you close your eyes, and you imagine the best possible life for yourself. How do you imagine it? You imagine it by palm trees. You imagine it by the pool.  You imagine it with a cocktail in your hand, and you looking amazing all the time.”

She adds, “That is what I see Victory as. Everything is heightened, and everything is perfect.”

Image courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Here’s what Pugh has to say when asked what filmgoers will take away from Don’t Worry Darling: “I think for me, it’s the fact that you’re completely swept up in this world. You totally feel like these are your people, just living in a heightened reality in the 1950s—I think you’re very quickly swept up in their lives, their relationships and their fun.”

In addition, she says, “And that’s where it catches you… so much so that when Alice is going through all of this, even she is shaking her head, trying to wake up and be perfect the next day. It kind of goes back to how much would you turn a blind eye to, even if your gut was telling you that something is wrong?”

Don’t Worry Darling is a New Line Cinema presentation distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures. The much awaited film is set to open in Philippine cinemas on September 28.

Banner photo and video courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures.

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