Harry Styles already has an enviable acting resume for a newcomer, from Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk to the upcoming Don’t Worry Darling and My Policeman. But the pop star said Monday at the Venice International Film Festival that, with acting, he often feels as if he has “no idea what I’m doing.”
Styles’ arrival on the Lido, where Don’t Worry Darling is having its world premiere Monday night, has been one of the most anticipated events of a festival full of stars. At a press conference before the premiere, Styles was peppered with questions about his fans, his career and whether or not he would work with director Olivia Wilde again — neither of which he answered.
In Don’t Worry Darling, Styles plays Jack, who works for the mysterious Victory Project, run by Chris Pine’s charismatic cult-like leader, in a mid-century-styled experimental community. Florence Pugh plays Jack’s wife Alice, who gets every comfort in the world in exchange for not asking questions. But soon, she starts to see cracks in the veneer.
“I think it’s fun to get to play in worlds that aren’t necessarily your own. This world that is supposedly so perfect, it’s really fun to play pretend in there,” Styles said. “There wasn’t too much acting.”
Styles took several days off from his Madison Square Garden appearances to attend the Don’t Worry Darling premiere in Venice, with Wilde and co-stars Pine and Gemma Chan. But though he juggles two high-profile careers in the arts, he said he doesn’t see many parallels between music and acting.
“Personally I find them to be kind of opposite in a lot of ways. I think making music is a really personal thing,” Styles said. “There’s aspects of acting where you’re drawing from experiences you’ve had but for the most part you’re pretending to play someone else. I think that’s what I find the most fun about it: playing pretend.”
He added: “I think the fun part is you never know what you’re doing. Music I’ve done for longer, but what I like about acting is I feel like I have no idea what I’m doing.”
Fans were already gathering in front of the theater early Monday to get a prime perch in front of the red carpet for the premiere, hours in advance. Many had personal stories about how Styles’ music impacted their lives.
“I’m incredibly grateful to the people who’ve supported me in my life and the fans in particular have always provided me with a place to be myself and feel comfortable doing so and express myself,” he said about what it’s like to mean so much to so many people. “I would like to hope I can give that space back to them.”