This year’s Venice Film Festival brought us the best celebrity scandal since the last time the world’s most famous pop star spit on one of the world’s most famous actors.
Oh wait, this has never happened before. So it actually might be the best celebrity scandal to come from a film festival … ever.
For a quick recap: Harry Styles and Florence Pugh’s new film Don’t Worry Darling premiered at the Venice Film Festival this month, with mixed reviews.
The film, which is directed by Styles’ girlfriend Olivia Wilde, was already embroiled in layers and layers of controversy after Styles and Wilde’s relationship was revealed soon after filming, and when it was discovered that abuser Shia LaBeouf was originally supposed to play the lead character, Jack.
Plus, Pugh seemed tactically evading any press that had anything to do with the film, making sure none of the mud slings ended up on his adorable Valentino premiere gown.
So to add spit to the damage, a video that appeared to show Harry Styles spitting on Chris Pine as he sat down to watch the film at the premiere went viral.
Spitgate became the most talked about topic on the internet and Pine reps had to step forward to put out the fire. “This is a ridiculous story,” said a rep, “a complete invention and the result of a strange online illusion that is clearly deceptive and allows for foolish speculation.”
Styles himself even mocked rumors during one of his Love On Tour concerts at Madison Square Garden. “It’s wonderful to be back in New York,” he tells the crowd, “I just got to Venice very quickly to spit on Chris Pine. But don’t worry, we’re back. “
Now, a third member of Don’t Worry Darling’s drama crew has taken over: the director herself, Olivia Wilde. Wilde had her fair share of tough press this month after taking much of the heat from Shia LaBeouf’s revelations and negative reactions to the film. But with the release date looming, Wilde has yet to do a lot of printing for the film, including TV interviews.
Wilde appeared on The Late Show last night to talk about the film with host Stephen Colbert – and briefly touched on the surrounding drama. Setting the record straight, Wilde said: “Harry didn’t spit on Chris.”
He continued: “I think it’s a perfect example of, like, people will be looking for drama wherever they can.”
Wilde extended his point of view to cover his alleged feud with Florence Pugh: “People see what they want to see”, adding: “I have nothing but respect for Florence’s talent, she’s fantastic!”
He then noted that male directors are rarely invited to talk shows to answer questions about the drama within the cast of their films, which audiences applaud. I spit or I don’t spit, you really can’t help but feel he’s right.