Internet sleuths spent much of Tuesday convinced that “Don’t Worry Darling” co-stars Harry Styles and Chris Pine were in a spat.
But a spokesperson for Pine is denying that Styles spit on the “Star Trek” actor.
In a short video clip that went viral late Monday, Styles is seen taking his seat next to Pine at the Venice Film Festival premiere of “Don’t Worry Darling,” a 1950s-set satirical thriller directed by Olivia Wilde, who is dating the pop star.
Sounds straightforward enough. But many Twitter users believed the video shows Styles, 28, spitting straight in the lap of Pine, 42, who then looks down at his pants and laughs to himself. Styles, for his part, appears to avoid eye contact with Pine.
In a statement to Variety, however, a representative for Pine denied that Styles spit on his co-star, calling the internet chatter 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,” the representative added. “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.”
Twitter nonetheless lit up with discussion of the clip early Tuesday, with some users expressing skepticism.
One user tweeted: “people actually think harry walked over there and decided to spit on chris for no reason, in front of multiple people? and chris made no movement to wipe it off and just sat there smiling and laughing?”
Another user offered a different theory: “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.”
A representative for Styles did not immediately respond to emails requesting comment on the video.
The viral clip is only the latest event on the “Don’t Worry Darling” press tour to draw intense interest online.
In recent weeks, fans have speculated about behind-the-scenes drama, including a reported feud between Wilde and “Darling” star Florence Pugh, as well as conflicting accounts surrounding the actor Shia LaBeouf’s exit from the project.
At a press conference at the Venice Film Festival on Monday, Wilde praised Pugh, calling the Oscar-nominated actor a “force.” She did not address the speculation about LaBeouf, who was originally cast as the movie’s male lead.
Pugh was absent from the press conference, reportedly due to a scheduling conflict, but she was photographed arriving at the festival with an Aperol Spritz in hand. (Pugh’s entrance quickly became a meme.) She appeared on the red carpet and sat next to co-star Nick Kroll during the screening.
Kroll and Styles also drew attention at the premiere after the singer kissed the comedian during a standing ovation for the film.
“Don’t Worry Darling” stars Pugh as a 1950s suburban housewife who begins to suspect that darkness creeps around the edges of her cookie-cutter neighborhood. Styles co-stars as her husband, and Pine plays the founder of a mysterious company.
The Warner Bros. film hits U.S. theaters Sept. 23.