The Entire Internet Thinks Harry Styles Spit on Chris Pine at the Don’t Worry Darling Venice Premiere
The road to Don’t Worry Darling‘s release—Olivia Wilde’s second film as a director, starring Florence Pugh, Harry Styles, and Chris Pine, among others—has been bumpy to say the least. And while the film’s premiere at the 2022 Venice Film Festival was first marked by mixed reviews and Pugh’s limited availability—the film’s lead actress has had rumored beef with Wilde for months and is said to be largely unavailable to promote the film because she’s in production on Dune: Part Two—the internet has grappled onto another source of drama: people are wondering if Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine as he approached his seat for the Italy screening.
Let’s get to the analysis right up front. In the video circulating, Pine is seated and clapping next to Wilde, when Styles, who’s just been introduced, goes to take his seat next to Pine. As Styles comes in and sits down, Pine stops clapping, pauses for a second, looks down, and smiles.
The first read that I saw suggested that Pine’s awkward pause and halt in his applause was because he thought that Wilde and Styles—who are romantically involved—would say something to one another. When they didn’t, the theory suggests, he started laughing.
But it only took a few hours for the internet to read more into this. You can clearly see that Styles makes some sort of pucker with his lips as he sits down, and the timing is just as Pine stops clapping and makes a kind of Can you believe this guy? kind of face. Many latched onto this idea, because, yes, it would be juicy as hell.
Except… let’s think about this for a second. Why would Harry Styles do this? What semblance of sense does this make? Don’t Worry Darling has already been plagued by nonstop tabloid gossip, and only a couple weeks ago, Wilde seemed to get caught in a lie when Variety reported that she didn’t, in fact, fire Shia LaBeouf (who was originally cast in Styles’ role), but instead recorded a video—in which she refers to Pugh as “Miss Flo” and needing a “wake-up call”—trying to get him to remain a part of the film.
This is also a public event in front of hundreds of applauding people. What sense would it make to spit on Chris Pine, one of the closest people we have to a modern-day, widely-loved movie star, in this setting? Even if they didn’t get along?
And that’s before we even get into the fact that if you look at the clip over and over and over again, nothing visibly appears to come from Styles’ mouth. Maybe there was some spittle and it was a bit of an accident! But the idea that the former One Direction member-turned-actor would purposely spit on his costar is more than a little far-fetched.
On Tuesday, Pine’s representative gave an official statement to People shooting the whole thing down. “This is a ridiculous story—a complete fabrication and the result of an odd online illusion that is clearly deceiving and allows for foolish speculation.”
That same representative continued with strong language. “Just to be clear, Harry Styles did not spit on Chris Pine,” they said. “There is nothing but respect between these two men and any suggestion otherwise is a blatant attempt to create drama that simply does not exist.”
Still, people have latched onto this idea and aren’t letting it go.
One thing is for sure: after the spit-or-not-spit heard around the world, the famously-laid back Pine wasn’t thinking about it nearly as much as everyone else. There’s footage of the lights in the theater dimming, and the Star Trek star is seen throwing on a pair of stylish sunglasses. Was he taking a 122-minute long nap? That’s one theory that might be a little bit more worth believing.
Evan is the culture editor for Men’s Health, with bylines in The New York Times, MTV News, Brooklyn Magazine, and VICE. He loves weird movies, watches too much TV, and listens to music more often than he doesn’t.
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