Why Would Harry Styles Spit on Chris Pine at the ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Premiere? Why Wouldn’t He?

Endless hijinks involving the cast of the most talked about movie in recent memory went down in Venice.

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Why Would Harry Styles Spit on Chris Pine at the ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Premiere? Why Wouldn’t He?
(L-R) Gemma Chan, Harry Styles, Sydney Chandler, director Olivia Wilde, Chris Pine, Florence Pugh and Nick Kroll attend the Don’t Worry Darling red carpet at the 79th Venice International Film Festival on September 05, 2022 in Venice, Italy Photo:Vittorio Zunino (Getty Images)

For months, Olivia Wilde’s sophomore outing as a director, the domestic thriller Don’t Worry Darling, has been a gossip-item factory, with rumors of a feud between Wilde and star Florence “Miss Flo” Pugh as an alleged result of Wilde’s romantic relationship with another of the film’s stars, Harry Styles. That factory went into overdrive this weekend, when the movie finally premiered at the Venice International Film Festival. People on the internet dissected the conduct, body language, lateness, and silence of the parties involved, like amateur social researchers.

The most scrutinized moment occurred when Styles appeared to spit on co-star Chris Pine while taking his seat, causing “Spitgate” to trend Monday night on Twitter. Kids who have no idea what a Zapruder is now have this clip to pore over as it loops endlessly:

But for the lack of visible flying phlegm, it all seems to line up perfectly, with Styles bending over, Pine looking down where the spit would have dropped, and then smiling at the absurdity of it all. Sometimes all you can do is laugh, right? There’s no way to tell this for sure, but I suspect a lot of people who are fueling this rumor only wish that Styles would spit on them, or perhaps in their mouths.

Here it is from another, less convincing angle:

This clip extends long enough to show Pine seemingly chat idly with the man who just spit on him, which is a weird thing to do, albeit not as weird as walking up to someone and spitting in his lap.

I should note that earlier in the weekend, a clip went viral of Pine clearly dissociating/considering jumping into a Venice canal as Harry said a bunch of word salad about the movie in a joint interview.

Maybe there’s bad blood between these two? Maybe the spit was an inside joke, and Pine found it funny? Who’s to say?

Of course, Spitgate was hardly the only thing that happened/maybe didn’t happen with the Don’t Worry Darling cast and crew at Venice. This calls for bullets:

  • At Monday’s press conference, Wilde praised Pugh as “a force,” saying that she was honored to work with the actor, who is “amazing” in Darling. “As for all the endless tabloid gossip and all the noise out there, I mean, the internet feeds itself,” Wilde continued. “I don’t feel the need to contribute. It’s sufficiently well nourished.” This is like a tree telling us that she’s not going to waste oxygen by dignifying rumors. The internet feeds itself on what you give us, Olivia! And you keep on giving even when you say you aren’t!!!
  • Pugh did not attend that press conference, though People reported that it was always the plan because she’s filming the Dune sequel. She did, though, make it to Venice, and boy did she strut (in Valentino, no less) once she was there.

(Shoutout to our old friend Joanie.)

  • Meanwhile, Harry Styles likes acting because he has “no idea” what he’s doing when he does it.
  • And Chris Pine appeared to dissociate during the press conference. Perhaps he had a vision of being spit on in a few hours.
  • Also, Wilde and Pugh “barely interacted” during the premiere, according to The Hollywood Reporter, and did not make eye contact during the standing ovation Darling received.
  • Two people who did make contact during that ovation, though, were Styles and co-star Nick Kroll, who kissed on the lips.

But, you may be thinking, does the actual movie justify all the attention that’s been given to it? Post-premiere reviews point to no: Don’t Worry Darling currently has a 46 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, with some of the negative reviews getting downright scathing. Los Angeles Times’ Justin Chang calls it “a disappointingly heavy thud of a movie.” Indiewire’s Kate Erbland says, “If this film is really about female pleasure, we’d hate to see Wilde’s interpretation of a film about female pain. This one hurts enough.” And The Hollywood Reporter’s David Rooney predicts that Don’t Worry Darling “will more likely be remembered for the offscreen intrigue—tabloid romance, lead actor replacement, a glaringly public serving of custody papers, a rumored clash between director and star—than it is for much else in this umpteenth Stepford Wives knockoff.” That much has seemed inevitable for a while now.

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