Reader, I can hardly believe that I’m coming to you on Steve Jobs’s Internet to ask one single, horrifying question: Did Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine?!
Allow me to explain. A video leaked from this weekend’s Venice Film Festival premiere of Don’t Worry Darling shows Styles taking a seat beside his co-star—and seemingly hocking a loogie right into his lap. In the footage, Pine freezes mid-clap and stares disbelievingly into his lap, then smiles and laughs to himself. Styles, for his part, looks forward with the placid who, me?! expression we’ve all used on our mothers after doing something uncouth. It seems entirely unlikely that one of our biggest pop stars would spit on Hollywood’s Best Chris (yeah, I said it!) in front of the entire global press, but that’s the mind-boggling thing—when you watch the video, your eyes don’t lie.
So what’s the verdict here? Did Harry spit on Chris Pine? What happened on that movie set bro 💀 pic.twitter.com/aOmAr0mAfY
— Steve Rogers (@SteveRogers1943) September 6, 2022
Meanwhile, Pine's representatives are out here gaslighting (kidding, maybe) us, telling People, "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. 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." Styles' representatives, for their part, have not commented.
But SpitGate is just the latest instalment in months of bizarre rumours swirling around Don’t Worry Darling. Ever since star Florence Pugh failed to promote the film on social media back in July, it’s been rumoured that Pugh and director Olivia Wilde have fallen out over Wilde’s alleged lack of professionalism (AKA, her on-set affair with Styles, which reportedly led to a hands-off directorial approach). The drama went nuclear a few weeks ago when Wilde spoke to Variety about firing Shia LaBeouf from the film and bringing in Styles as his replacement, claiming that she did so over LaBeouf’s “combative energy” in an effort to keep Pugh “safe.” LaBeouf disputed her recollection of events, hitting back with a staggering amount of text and email receipts asserting that he quit the film. In one leaked video message from 2020, Wilde pleads with LaBeouf not to quit, seeming to blame Pugh for failing to collaborate with the actor (who faces allegations of abusive behaviour).
As all this drama swirls, fellow Don’t Worry Darling stars like Pine, Gemma Chan, and Nick Kroll have gone full Switzerland. But in Venice, the tide may have turned. Pugh declined to join her co-stars in promoting the film in press conferences, but Pine made headlines in her absence, appearing to downright dissociate in an interview alongside Styles. By contrast, he enthusiastically acted as Pugh’s personal hype man on the red carpet, snapping pictures of her looking glamorous. This all comes on the heels of Pine effusing about Pugh just days ago, "I don’t know if there’s anyone better. To be so young and so in charge of her craft… she’s such a kind person and a giving actor. I love her to death.”
chris pine taking photos of florence pugh pic.twitter.com/Zp7pLMJI36
— cat.🦫 (@lordeonfilm) September 5, 2022
If Styles did spit on Pine, could it be because he seemingly sided with Pugh in this supposed ongoing feud? The good people of Twitter sure think so. Last night, Twitter erupted over SpitGate, with armchair detectives analysing the footage late into the wee hours of the morning. Below, we’ve rounded up the best of what eagle-eyed Twitter users are saying.
The Spit >>>> The Slap
— Meech (@MediumSizeMeech) September 6, 2022
the “i did not spit on that man” notes app apology harry styles will soon be forced to tweet is already shaping up to be an all-timer
— i want to bailey-ve 🛸 (@been_herde) September 6, 2022
the don’t worry darling drama is getting more and more absurd like what do you mean harry styles [spins wheel] spit on [spins wheel] chris pine
— izzy (@spidermannwh) September 6, 2022
spitting on chris pine…hurts to see others living my dreams
— vampire workday (@imbobswaget) September 6, 2022
did you see this? harry styles spit on chris pine. yeah, it's true. people are dissecting the footage looking for a second spitter but apparently it only came from one direction pic.twitter.com/76GiOxj8Ye
— Ben Rosen (@ben_rosen) September 6, 2022
The TL right now trying to figure out the truth behind the Harry Styles/Chris Pine Spit-Gate: pic.twitter.com/RO9yFaNM2K
— Shanelle Genai Is THIQUE HUNTY✨ (@shanellegenai) September 6, 2022
This article was first published on Esquire US.