KiKi Layne says she’s still celebrating work on and offscreen with Don’t Worry Darling co-star Ari’el Stachel despite their scenes being cut from the film.
In an Instagram post on Sunday, the If Beale Street Could Talk actress posted a video and photos of her on-set with fellow actor Ari’el Stachel. The duo play Margaret and Ted, a couple in the idealized and pioneering 1950s desert community of Victory that is not quite what it seems. Layne’s character serves as a catalyst for Florence Pugh’s Alice beginning to test the bounds of and question what’s behind the experimental company town.
“The best thing about #DontWorryDarling is that I was lucky enough to meet @arielstachel,” Layne captioned the post. “They cut us from most of the movie, but we thriving in real life.”
“Love you Ari,” she added, tacking on several heart emojis to the end of her message and using the hashtags #GotMyCheck, #GotMyMan and #EverythingHappensforaReason.
Stachel returned the love in both a comment and on his own Instagram story, which features the same video clip on Layne’s profile with a “My Queen” text banner splashed across it.
“My love. You are a queen and your talent shines so bright,” he replied to Layne’s post. “I was thirsty then and I’m thirsty now.”
The Hollywood Reporter has reached out to reps for Layne.
Both actors’ Don’t Worry Darling co-star Gemma Chan also replied to the post, which sees footage and photos of Layne and Stachel handing and joking around on set, with a single heart emoji.
Layne recently wrapped work on Netflix’s The Old Guard 2, sharing a photo of herself with the rest of the cast — which includes Charlize Theron and Chiwetel Ejiofor — of the anticipated sequel directed by Woman King helmer Gina Prince-Bythewood. She has also starred in Native Son, Coming 2 America and voiced a character in Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers.
Stachel, meanwhile, counts A24’s black comedy Zola, Marvel and Netflix’s Jessica Jones and the upcoming Law & Order: Hate Crimes among his recent projects. In 2018, he also won the Tony for best featured actor in a musical for his role in The Band’s Visit.
Don’t Worry Darling‘s press run has been met with a swirl of rumors about on-set tension, including an alleged clash between its star Pugh and director Olivia Wilde since its Venice Film Festival debut. (Layne was not present for the carpet or premiere event.)
Pugh, Wilde and the film’s director of photography have all in recent days denied the allegations of on-set drama.
“This was probably the most harmonious set I’ve ever been on,” cinematographer Matthew Libatique told The Hollywood Reporter during a recent episode of the Behind the Screen podcast. “Olivia built a team that believed in her, and she believed in each and everybody on the set.”
“When you hear that there are rumors of acrimony on the set, I reject it. It wasn’t apparent at all,” he added.
Pugh on Friday shared a series of photos from the set, offering a collection of on0set candids and a warm thanks to the film’s cast and crew for their work on the film.
“We met so many talented people, visited some insane locations, worked hard in the desert dust and looked good whilst doing so,” she wrote. “This film was such an epic story on such a large scale to shoot, all while during peak Covid times. For that I will always be grateful. To all of you who helped make this, your dedication and love was seen daily — thank you.”
During her Sept. 21 Late Show appearance director Wilde shot down rumors that Harry Styles had spit on co-star Chris Pine during the film’s Venice premiere — something Pine’s team also clarified did not happen — whether actor Shia LaBeouf was fired from or quit the production and Wilde’s relationship with Pugh.
“I have nothing but respect for Florence’s talent,” the director told Colbert. “She’s fantastic. She’s on the set of her movie Dune right now, and there’s nothing cooler than a busy actress. I have nothing against her for any reason.”