Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde shared their thoughts on the online backlash they have received over their relationship.
The 28-year-old singer and the 38-year-old actress opened up about the negative response to their romance from a portion of the former One Direction member’s passionate fan base.
"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," Styles said in an interview for a Rolling Stone cover story that was published on Monday.
The United Kingdom native explained that though he understands that fans are interested in his personal life, he admitted that is hard for him to watch the people closest to him become the subjects of criticism.
"That obviously doesn’t make me feel good," Styles said.
He added, "I just wanted to sing. I didn’t want to get into it if I was going to hurt people like that."
When asked to weigh in on the criticism, Wilde pointed out out that hurtful commenters only make up a small percentage of Styles’ fans. The "Booksmart" director told the outlet that the majority were "deeply loving people".
"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," she said.
"I don’t personally believe the hateful energy defines his fan base at all. The majority of them are true champions of kindness."
Styles told Rolling Stone that he always has a conversation early on with prospective romantic partners to prepare them for a potential negative reaction from some fans.
"Can you imagine," he said, "Going on a second date with someone and being like, ‘OK, there’s this corner of the thing, 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?’"
The pair began dating after meeting in 2020 on the set of the upcoming psychological thriller "Don’t Worry Darling." Wilde directed the movie starring Styles, Florence Pugh, and Chris Pine, and will be released next month. The "House" alum also appears in a small role.
The two grew closer after working on the project and went public with their romance in January 2021, when they attended Styles’ manager Jeff Azoff’s wedding together.
Their debut as a couple came two months after Wilde ended her seven-year engagement to Jason Sudeikis, 46, with whom she shares son Otis, 8, and daughter Daisy, 5.
At the time, it was reported that Wilde restricted her Instagram comments after hundreds of fans left cruel remarks on her photos in which they criticized the two over their age gap, slammed Wilde as "shameful" and accused her of "stealing" Styles.