Hear ye, hear ye, from the streets of old Venice comes an urgent and absolutely NOT salivating decree! In the wake of “Spitgate,” the internet’s chosen entertainment for the morning, a representative for Chris Pine has come forth to douse the flames with water (or more realistically, in this climate, gasoline). His message to the populace: Harry Styles did not in any way, shape, or form spit on Chris Pine as he took his seat for the Don’t Worry Darling world premiere at the Venice Film Festival.
Needless to say, moving forward requires going back. Don’t Worry Darling, Olivia Wilde’s tepidly-reviewed sophomore film, is only weeks away from a wide release but has years of drama under its belt. From a reported Shia LaBoeuf gag order to the budding Styles-Wilde romance that may have sown a rift between the duo and Pugh, there’s nothing this film set didn’t have (except, per Wilde, enough money).
As the divided cast descended on Venice for the film’s world premiere yesterday, all eyes were on the pointedly avoidant red carpet and Wilde and Pugh’s possibly dueling stylists—until something else way weirder happened. The video that appeared to show Styles spitting on Chris Pine (and Pine reacting with discomfort) immediately caused an online firestorm. As the rumor took off, a rep for presumed victim Pine swiftly stepped in.
“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,” Pine’s rep shared with Variety in a statement. “Just to be clear, Harry Styles did not spit on Chris Pine. 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.”
Per Variety, another source also claimed there was “no tension around Styles and Pine during the premiere and that a potential spitting incident was flagged by no one during the event.” A “potential spitting incident” doesn’t really seem like something anyone would usually flag at an international film festival attended by (mostly) adults, but better to digress.
It’s not that hard to imagine a stranger-than-fiction story is, in fact, fiction, but it’s also nearly impossible to look away from the surreal dramatics surrounding this movie. If you believe that spitting on respected male friends would never fly in Harry’s House, that’s your right and creed. But Don’t Worry Darling is a PR team’s Whack-A-Mole—they squelch Spitgate only to realize the internet found the clip of Styles musing: “My favorite thing about the movie is like, it feels like a movie.” Carry on, sweet wayward son!