Yesterday was the world premiere of Don’t Worry Darling at the 79th annual Venice Film Festival. From actor/director Olivia Wilde (Booksmart), the dystopian drama stars Florence “Miss Flo” Pugh and Harry Styles, a.k.a. “the new king of pop” (depending on who you ask).
So, was the film any good? We genuinely have no idea because the alleged drama around the film has captured the internet’s attention over the past week, and that’s all anyone can talk about.
First there was Wilde’s assertion that she fired alleged abuser Shia LaBeouf (a later replaced him with Styles), then LaBeouf’s rebuttal—with receipts, and then came the announcement that Pugh wouldn’t be doing any promotional interviews for the film, stoking rumors of a feud between the star and her director.
Well, all of that has been pushed to the side as the collective internet has put on their investigative hats to figure out: Did Styles hock a loogie at his Don’t Worry Darling co-star Chris Pine? And, if so, what does it mean?
go on watch it again pic.twitter.com/m8GdaeY480
— maya (@cherryvoicenote) September 6, 2022
In a clip that has been pored over like the Zapruder film (seriously, “Zapruder” was trending on Twitter yesterday because of it), Styles is seen walking to his seat in the theater for the film premiere, an empty spot next to Pine.
As the musician goes to sit, he leans over in Pine’s direction, around which time Pine stops clapping, looks down, and appears to shake his head in disbelief. He’s definitely reacting to something, right? But is it spit? And, if it’s spit, are these just the jokey antics of two chummy co-stars? Or is there malice behind that phlegm projectile?
That's the real question isn't it: why? The how and the who is just scenery for the public. Pugh, Styles, Wilde, LaBeouf, keeps 'em guessing like some kind of parlor game, prevents 'em from asking the most important question: why? Why was Chris Pine spit on? Who benefited? Who?? pic.twitter.com/0DGYXgxWxB
— ? ??? ??? ?? ???? ????? (@shdwbxng) September 6, 2022
On Twitter, the takes and theories have been flying like a… well, like spittle! Even those firmly in “Team Spit” are divided on what exactly happened and why. Some are choosing to believe it was all in good fun:
I think Harry Styles spit a sunflower seed at Chris Pine and it’s a hilarious inside joke from set and I need this to be the case to sleep tonight.
— mamrie hart (@mametown) September 6, 2022
Others think it was part of an elaborate ruse—perhaps one that Styles, et. al. knew would bewilder the masses and keep our minds off the “Miss Flo” of it all:
Whichever publicist planned this Harry styles spit news cycle should be given an award
— kelsey mckinney (@mckinneykelsey) September 6, 2022
And some think it wasn’t spit at all, but instead one big old bead of sweat dripping off Styles’ face (it has been pretty hot lately—quick, check yesterday’s temperatures in Venice, Italy!):
Okay I didn’t mention it yesterday bc I wanted to her to let us have the night, but my friend’s theory is that sweat from Harry Styles hit Chris Pine and not deliberate spit.
— Rae Sanni (@raesanni) September 6, 2022
The prevailing non-spit theory is that Pine thinks he had lost his sunglasses, only to—in that instant—realize they were on his lap the whole time. While we appreciate this generous read on the situation, that’s as much of a stretch as anything else people have imagined about the event!
Chris pine just wondered where his sunglasses were after the applause. And he zoned out (likes he’s been doing all day) and realised it’s in his lap. So I am sorry to say harry styles did not spit on him. pic.twitter.com/7b4GoCvnHJ
— priscilla (@cinemazietgeist) September 6, 2022
As far as we’re concerned, the best evidence that Styles didn’t spit on Pine is the fact that, later in the night—during the film’s standing ovation—Styles leaned in to smooch his co-star Nick Kroll. It looked like a wet one, so how could he possibly have any spit to swap if he’d already unloaded it onto Pine? (We’re joking… sort of.) Take a look:
— Variety (@Variety) September 5, 2022
No confusion there: That was definitely a kiss. And the moment went viral earlier in the day—pre-#SpitGate—which meant Twitter had plenty of time to fire off some jokes about Styles’ “latest act of queerbaiting.” Here are just a few of our favorites:
harry styles and nick kroll at the venice film festival pic.twitter.com/Pgk8uSxPfT
— nicole (@goIdenaffairs) September 5, 2022
just saw the pic of Nick kroll and Harry styles making out pic.twitter.com/sVybSZpApW
— Paul McCallion (@OrangePaulp) September 5, 2022
did I just see a picture of harry styles and nick kroll kissing pic.twitter.com/DRcfe4hXDu
— paul (@paulswhtn) September 5, 2022
Olivia Wilde watching Nick Kroll kiss Harry Styles: pic.twitter.com/R47dK9Gc5Z
— ?Atomic Annie? (@_AtomicAnnie) September 5, 2022
— Bob (@tweetsbybob_) August 29, 2022
Brace yourselves: Don’t Worry Darling doesn’t hit theaters un til September 23, so we could still have two and a half weeks of this madness. Stay safe out there!