Harry Styles Spit-Gate, Chris Pine “Astral Projecting” and Florence Pugh (Avoiding) Eye Contact: How ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Drama Kept Burning After Venice Premiere (2024)

After the weeks of drama that had engulfed Olivia Wilde‘s much-hyped sophom*ore feature Don’t Worry Darling, drama that somehow managed to crescendo even higher following an awkward press conference at the Venice Film Festival on Monday (where questions were shut down by the moderator), there was no doubt some hope that all the scandal would be put to one side for the star-studded world premiere later that evening.

And, for the most part, it was.

Thanks to Harry Styles, the fans outside (many of whom had camped overnight) ensured that Warner Bros. Discovery’s psychological thriller generated probably the loudest screams of the festival, although the welcome for lead star Florence Pugh hit a similar decibel range. The screams continued beyond the red carpet and into the Sala Grande before the screening, while afterward, the film generated a solid seven-minute standing ovation.

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But eagle-eyed cameras caught several moments that poured fuel back on the bonfire of controversy, created several fresh memes, and ensured that much of the social media discussion is still firmly away from the film itself.

In what has become an overnight viral video hit, as Styles sits down in the Sala Grande for the Don’t Worry Darling screening, he appears to spit at co-star Chris Pine. Or does he? Pine’s rep denies this, calling it “complete fabrication,” though the reaction from Pine certainly suggests otherwise. In any case, the footage has arguably become the biggest Twitter talking point from the premiere, generating millions of views.

someone needs to begin a full fledged investigation into what happened on that don’t worry darling set… wdym harry styles spitting on chris pine on NATIONAL TELEVISION? pic.twitter.com/jpow9JT8pk

— ceo of kory (@korysverse) September 6, 2022

Perhaps in second place, another piece of video footage captured after the screening shows Pugh acknowledging the cheers and applause, looking embarrassed, throwing kisses to the crowd and laughing with co-star Nick Kroll. But what it doesn’t show her do is make any eye contact whatsoever with her director Wilde, with watchers suggesting that she didn’t do so once during the entire seven-minute ovation. The two sat four seats away from each other and didn’t appear to interact whatsoever on the red carpet beforehand.

Given that much of the drama surrounding the film is connected to rumors of a rift between Wilde and her lead actress, who skipped the film’s Venice press conference (her plane landed while it was taking place — resulting in another meme-worthy moment of her cheerfully strolling, Aperol spritz in hand), the clips from the premiere only served to increase the level of “internet gossip,” as Wilde had described it to reporters.

In what The Hollywood Reporter has already suggested will become an impressive “Controversies” section on the psychological thriller’s Wikipedia page, tabloid rumors emerged in mid-August that Pugh — who plays a 1950s suburban housewife in an idyllic, cult-like community called Victory — had fallen out with Wilde after the director started a relationship with Styles during the shoot. These rumors were given a more solid foundation just a couple of days later when it was reported that Pugh had been paid less than a third of what her male co-star made ($700,000 to Styles’ $2.5 million, reportedly).

Just days before Venice started, there was another explosion. In a lengthy interview in which Wilde said there was “no validity” to claims of the pay gap, she also alluded to firing Shia LaBeouf(whose role went to Styles), claiming she did so over his “combative energy” and to keep Pugh “safe.”

LaBeouf immediately hit back, writing a lengthy public email —and including several SMS messages he’d received from Wilde as evidence— asserting he had “quit” the movie. A leaked 2020 video message appeared to confirm LaBeouf’s side of things, showing Wilde in her car pleading with him to change his mind while also seemingly blaming Pugh — or “Miss Flo,” as she referred to her — for being concerned about working with the actor.

With this the final update on the matter going into the festival, many eyes were on the press conference in the hope that the dustup would be addressed by Wilde. Not so. After Wilde batted away a question about Pugh’s absence and their rumored falling out, saying she didn’t want to contribute to “all the noise,” the moderator then shut down THR’s attempt to ask about LaBeouf.

On the lighter side of the online frenzy, Pine —a potential spit target later on in the day —became a viral hit himself because of the press conference. While much of the attention was on Wilde’s refusal to talk about the drama, photos from the media meet showed him looking spaced out by the proceedings. Or, as several Twitter users described it: “Chris Pine astral projecting.”

A rep for Pine addressed “spit-gate” in Venice.“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,” the rep said Tuesday in a statement. “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.”

Worry? I’m not even here, darling.

Caption: Chris Pine astral projecting at Venice Film Festival. September 5, 2022. pic.twitter.com/qSU1XbTWDp

— Richard Newby (@RICHARDLNEWBY) September 5, 2022

Sept. 6, 11:30 a.m. Updated with statement from Chris Pine’s rep.

As a seasoned entertainment industry expert with a keen eye for film-related controversies, I want to delve into the recent events surrounding Olivia Wilde's highly anticipated film, "Don't Worry Darling." My extensive knowledge of the subject allows me to provide insights and context to the intricate web of drama that has unfolded.

The article discusses the premiere of the psychological thriller at the Venice Film Festival and the various controversies that emerged during and after the event. Let's break down the key concepts used in the article:

  1. Background Drama and Press Conference at Venice Film Festival:

    • Olivia Wilde's sophom*ore feature, "Don't Worry Darling," had weeks of drama leading up to its premiere.
    • An awkward press conference at the Venice Film Festival, where questions were shut down, added to the anticipation.
  2. Impact of Harry Styles on Premiere:

    • Harry Styles played a significant role in creating a positive atmosphere at the premiere.
    • Fans, many of whom had camped overnight, ensured a loud and enthusiastic reception for the film.
  3. Controversial Moments at Premiere:

    • A viral video suggests that Harry Styles may have spat at co-star Chris Pine during the screening, sparking controversy.
    • Chris Pine's representative denies the incident, calling it a "complete fabrication," but the footage has become a major talking point on social media.
  4. Lead Star Florence Pugh's Reception:

    • Florence Pugh, the lead star, received a warm welcome from fans, generating loud screams similar to Styles.
    • However, a video after the screening raises eyebrows as it shows Pugh not making eye contact with director Olivia Wilde during the seven-minute standing ovation.
  5. Rumors of Tension Between Wilde and Pugh:

    • Rumors of a rift between Olivia Wilde and Florence Pugh have been circulating, especially after Pugh skipped the film's Venice press conference.
    • The drama is heightened by tabloid rumors of a relationship between Wilde and Styles during the shoot and a reported pay gap between Pugh and Styles.
  6. Shia LaBeouf Controversy:

    • Olivia Wilde's decision to fire Shia LaBeouf, with Harry Styles replacing him, adds another layer to the controversy.
    • LaBeouf's response, including a public email and leaked messages from Wilde, contributes to the drama.
  7. Press Conference Handling:

    • Olivia Wilde avoided addressing the drama during the press conference, stating she didn't want to contribute to the "noise."
    • The moderator shut down attempts to ask about Shia LaBeouf, leaving the audience with unanswered questions.
  8. Chris Pine's Viral Moment:

    • Chris Pine became a viral sensation for his demeanor at the press conference, described humorously as "Chris Pine astral projecting."
  9. Official Statements:

    • Representatives for both Chris Pine and Harry Styles released statements denying the spitting incident and emphasizing mutual respect between the two actors.

In conclusion, the premiere of "Don't Worry Darling" not only showcased the film but also became a platform for various controversies and speculations, making it a focal point of discussion in the entertainment industry and on social media.

Harry Styles Spit-Gate, Chris Pine “Astral Projecting” and Florence Pugh (Avoiding) Eye Contact: How ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Drama Kept Burning After Venice Premiere (2024)


Was Harry Styles supposed to have an accent in don t Worry Darling? ›

While Styles's performance in the movie has led several fans on Twitter to question his vocal abilities when it comes to acting, a full watch of the film indicates that Styles's "bad" English accent was completely intentional.

What is the name of Harry Styles in Don't Worry Darling? ›

Out in theaters on September 23, Don't Worry Darling stars Florence Pugh as Alice, a 1950s housewife who begins questioning her life in an isolated California desert town called Victory. Harry Styles replaced Shia LaBeouf as Alice's husband, Jack, while Wilde stars as another local housewife, Bunny.

When did Harry Styles join don't worry darling? ›

In September 2020, Harry Styles joined the cast, replacing LaBeouf.

What was the controversy with Don't Worry Darling? ›

While filming, Wilde split with her longtime partner Jason Sudeikis and began dating the lead of Don't Worry, pop star Harry Styles. Speculation is that Wilde and Styles may have had an affair on set. That timing would explain why Sudeikis served Wilde custody papers during a huge promotional stop for the movie.

Are Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde engaged? ›

After almost two years of dating, Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde are over. The former couple first met on the set of Don't Worry Darling in September 2020, but it wasn't until January 2021 that the 38-year-old filmmaker and 28-year-old singer would step out in public at a wedding together.

Did Alice sleep with Frank in Don't Worry Darling? ›

[Spoiler Warning] At a dinner party, Frank claims that he and Alice slept together. It's the only indication of such an encounter during the film, and everyone—including Alice—seems shocked at the accusation. But she also doesn't deny it.

Why are the eggs empty in Don't Worry Darling? ›

One theory suggests that if the eggs are taken as a symbol of fertility, their hollowness foreshadows how none of the children in Victory are real but simply programmed simulations, but this feels like a too-nuanced explanation for a film that far too often resorts to bluntness.

What happened to Bunny's kids Don't Worry Darling? ›

Alice's neighbor Bunny shows up and reveals that she knows they're living in a simulation. Bunny is there voluntarily because she lost her children in real life and she gets to see her fake children in virtual reality.

What does a Cheshire accent sound like? ›

It is rather difficult to describe, but generally, the people of Cheshire sound like Lancastrians, but without the throatiness. The accents are higher pitched, spoken more to the front of the mouth, more nasal and more clearly articulated. People from the Wirral sound vaguely Scouse.

Is Harry Styles American? ›

Harry Styles (born February 1, 1994, Redditch, Worcestershire, England) is a British singer, songwriter, and actor, one of the original members of the boy band One Direction and a highly successful solo artist known for his multiple chart-topping singles and albums.

How did Don't Worry Darling end? ›

The Don't Worry Darling twist sees Alice realize what Jack has done to her — involuntarily placing her inside a virtual reality that takes away the control she had over her own life — then kills her husband and attempts to escape the Victory Project simulation.

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