Don’t Worry Darling appears to be at the centre of something of a storm. First there were the differing stories over why Shia LeBeouf exited the production. Then there was the rumored falling out between director Olivia Wilde and star Florence Pugh. There were some ill-judged and factually incorrect comments from Wilde about her inspiration for Chris Pine’s character.
Pugh and Wilde have denied the rift and it is claimed Pugh simply had filming commitments for Dune: Part Two that kept her away from Venice.
All of this faded to irrelevance this week when something else hit. Online speculation said there was a rift between stars Harry Styles and Chris Pine, as Styles partner is Olivia Wilde and Chris Pine was very supportive of Florence Pugh. Then a video of Styles taking a seat at the screening in the Sala Grande surfaced in which certain quarters of the internet said showed Styles spitting at his co-star Chris Pine.
The cat moms, wine aunts and women who use the word “literally” literally all the time lit up Twitter with statements like:
“OMG, he like literally spit on Chris Pine there! I can’t even! Literally shaking right now. Chris Pine looked super cute.”
Or variations on this theme. It was an article of faith. This happened. On camera, in front of an audience of thousands, according to these people an actor had spat on another actor with contempt. Sounds really silly, now you actually stop for 10 seconds and think about it. Of course it didn’t happen. But… forget it Jake, it’s Chinatown (Twitter).
So, of course, because the world must always cater to the lowest common denominator, the kind of people who are the reason that a bag of nuts has a warning on it that reads “Warning, may contain nuts”, a statement has had to be made. People.com carry the official pronouncement from Chris Pine’s rep:
“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.”
Video from another angle of the incident also seems to prove the Twitter crowd wrong. The film has received mixed reviews, but got a seven-minute standing ovation after the screening.
Don’t Worry Darling opens in theaters September 23rd.