Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde discuss ‘toxic negativity’ around their relationship

A split image of a woman with long blond hair and a man with short brown hair.
Actor-director Olivia Wilde, left, is dating singer-actor Harry Styles.
(Evan Agostini / Charles Sykes / Invision / AP)

Pop musician Harry Styles has long encouraged his fanbase to “treat people with kindness.”

But some of his zealous supporters have been less than kind to his girlfriend and collaborator, Olivia Wilde, on social media.

For the first time, the performer and the director publicly addressed the “toxic negativity” that has plagued their relationship in a Rolling Stone cover story published Monday. The pair met while working on Wilde’s upcoming film, “Don’t Worry Darling,” starring Styles and Florence Pugh.

“Can you imagine ... going on a second date with someone and being like, ‘OK, there’s this corner of the [internet], and they’re going to say this, and it’s going to be really crazy, and they’re going to be really mean, and it’s not real.… But anyway, what do you want to eat?’” Styles said of his experience dating in the public eye.

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“It’s obviously a difficult feeling to feel like being close to me means you’re at the ransom of a corner of Twitter or something,” he told Rolling Stone’s Brittany Spanos. “I just wanted to sing. I didn’t want to get into it if I was going to hurt people like that.”


While going out with Styles, 28, the “Booksmart” filmmaker has often become a trending topic on Twitter as social media trolls find more ways to pick her apart. Even when praising Styles for his character and talent, Wilde, 38, has been met with harsh criticism online. (It doesn’t help that the “Tron: Legacy” actor is currently embroiled in a highly publicized custody dispute with her ex, Jason Sudeikis, to whom she was engaged before seeing Styles.)

“What I don’t understand about the cruelty you’re referencing is that that kind of toxic negativity is the antithesis of Harry, and everything he puts out there,” Wilde told Spanos.

“I don’t personally believe the hateful energy defines his fan base at all. The majority of them are true champions of kindness.”

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The cyberbullying that Wilde and others have endured in the “As It Was” hitmaker’s orbit “obviously doesn’t make me feel good,” said Styles, who refers to Twitter as “a s—storm of people trying to be awful to people.”

Despite his efforts to separate his professional life from his personal life, “other people blur the lines for you,” he added.

While searching for the male lead of “Don’t Worry Darling,” Wilde was “looking for someone with innate warmth and palpable charm,” she told the music magazine. So naturally, the former One Direction heartthrob booked the role for Wilde’s sophomore film.

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In the psychological thriller, Styles plays Jack, a doting husband keeping a dark secret from his wife, Alice (Pugh). The 1950s period drama marks the singer’s biggest acting role to date after appearing in Christopher Nolan‘s “Dunkirk” (2017) and Chloé Zhao‘s “Eternals” (2021). Up next, he’s set to headline Amazon’s “My Policeman,” opposite “The Crown” breakout star Emma Corrin.

“In music, there’s such an immediate response to what you do. You finish a song and people clap,” Styles told Rolling Stone. “When you’re filming and they say ‘cut,’ there’s maybe part of you that expects everyone to start clapping, [but] they don’t. Everyone, obviously, goes back to doing their jobs, and you’re like, ‘Oh, s—, was it that bad?’”