How “Don’t Worry Darling” Transformed Harry Styles in Key Scenes
SPOILER WARNING: Before reading, make sure you see the current in-theater release “Don’t Worry Darling.”
“Don’t Worry Darling” by Olivia Wilde takes place in the idyllic 1950s Victory Project utopia. Alice (Florence Pugh) and Jack (Harry Styles) live in the remote desert hamlet where ladies attend ballet classes, wave farewell to their husbands as they drive off to work each day. It’s like a scene from “Stepford Wives.”
But things are not right since the women are forbidden from entering Victory HQ, their husbands’ workplace, and they are not allowed to know what their husbands do for a living. Soon enough, Alice begins to have suspicions that their idealistic life may be hiding even darker secrets. After a neighbour vanishes, she looks further.
In the twist that occurs in the second half of the movie, viewers find out that the Victory Project is a modern VR environment where males may manipulate women and make them into “ideal wives.” When Jack kidnaps Alice and forces her into the simulation, she is working long hours at the emergency room while Jack is unemployed and spending the day at his computer listening to a cult-like podcast.
Victory Jack and Incel Jack are very dissimilar. His slick, suave “Mad Men” appearance has vanished. He looks awful instead, with ill-fitting attire, long hair that is limp from grease, and an acne-ridden face.
Jaime Leigh McIntosh, head of the hair department, and Heba Thorisdottir, head of the cosmetics department, worked together for two hours to give Styles the look that has everyone talking.
The goal, according to McIntosh, was to avoid pressuring Styles to the point where his new image became absurd. According to McIntosh, “it was about striking that balance and walking a delicate line of pushing him in a different way, but not so far.”
The singer-turned-dense actor’s hair was her first obstacle. She says, “I wanted to make it lank and more dead.” McIntosh quips that despite flat-ironing his hair, “I fucking couldn’t. Harry’s hair has an incredible amount of volume.
She ultimately decided to get a wig created. “That was two sections that were put together when it was long and scraggly. I cut the top of the wig to match Harry’s own sides and back when he has the short back and sides, says McIntosh.
For Thorisdottir, the epidemic ended up being a blessing in disguise. She ordered Styles to grow a beard when the two-week production halt occurred. She would “chop at it to make it look scraggly and sparse,” according to Thorisdottir. Simply, we made holes in it.
The crew and Wilde constantly exchanged ideas for how to continue using his incel image. One that was swiftly abandoned was the notion of scarring Jack. It is so obvious to do that, claims Thorisdottir. We reasoned that if there were a scar, we would need to explain how and from where he got it, and you wouldn’t comprehend why he did what he did.
Wilde recommended giving Jack acne during the brainstorming process, but Thorisdottir suggested taking it a step further and giving Jack’s persona acne scars. I know people who have acne scars, and some of them are really insecure and self-conscious, says Thorisdottir. I thus called Jason Collins.
Collins, an Emmy-winning makeup artist for special effects, was responsible for the acne scars that covered Jack’s actual face. Thorisdottir explains, “He put them together fairly quickly, and we tested them on Harry and he went for them.
Again, it was about finding a balance of just how much acne to give Jack’s character, staying within Styles’ comfort level and making sure it wouldn’t distract from his acting. Thorisdottir experimented with several ways to construct a face with acne scars. One [version] was worse than the other, she recollects. He didn’t say anything, but I recall thinking that we might be pushing things too far. “I feel we were able to tell the story with it,” she continues. We were not trying to make Harry look bad, we were explaining his insecurities and why Jack is the way he is.”
Arianne Phillips’ costumes completed the style. According to Thorisdottir, debates centred on the size that the clothing should be. It was always hoodies and loose attire, as if the wearer didn’t want to draw attention to themselves, she claims.
McIntosh continues, “Harry adored it. He put a lot of effort into creating the character. He was quite enthusiastic and had a great time.