UPDATE: The internet is wrong, at least according to Chris Pine's representative, who denied that Harry Styles spat on their client. "This is a ridiculous story," the rep told People, "a complete fabrication and the result of an odd online illusion that is clearly deceiving and allows for foolish speculation. There is nothing but respect between these two men and any suggestion otherwise is a blatant attempt to create drama."
Following the premiere of Olivia Wilde’s new film Don’t Worry Darling at the 2022 Venice International Film Festival, one piece of footage prompted fierce online debate. The clip in question, however, wasn’t from the film itself but from its screening’s aftermath, and it depicts what many are convinced is Harry Styles spitting on his co-star, American actor Chris Pine.
The movie — directed by Olivia Wilde and starring Styles and Pine, as well as Florence Pugh, Gemma Chan, and others — has been besieged by drama from all directions in recent weeks. Wilde claimed she fired alleged domestic abuser Shia LaBeouf from the film before LaBeouf leaked texts and videos sent between the two of them indicating he actually quit. Wilde also allegedly began dating Styles, whom she cast to replace LaBeouf as the male lead after he left the film, before she publicly announced her breakup with actor Jason Sudeikis, her ex-partner of 10 years, with whom she has two children. And now, the ultra-online have begun to conjecture that Wilde and Styles have broken up, mostly based on the fact that they seem to be avoiding standing next to each other in photos from the festival. (These rumors are extremely unconfirmed.)
Pugh, the film’s female lead opposite Styles, apparently took issue with both of these incidents, and cancelled her only slated media appearance promoting the film on Monday due to “scheduling conflicts.” Until Monday, however, there was no reported ill will between Styles and Pine, who plays the villain in Don’t Worry Darling. Hours before the premiere, video of a press panel surfaced on Twitter of Pine seeming to hold back an intense admixture of disgust and disbelief as Styles tells a reporter that his “favorite thing about the movie is it feels like a movie.”
Pine, of course, could have been zoned out for any number of other reasons, but Twitter discourse is not known for its nuance. Similarly, the footage from the premiere has sparked heated debate between those who are positive Styles actually spat on Pine and those who emphatically believe he just happened to purse his lips at an inopportune time.
The FADER has reached out to a representative of Harry Styles as we search for answers in these dark, confusing, end times.