This year’s Venice Film Festival brought us the best celebrity scandal since the last time the most famous pop star in the world spat on the one of the most famous actors in the world.
Oh wait, that’s never happened before. So actually it might be the best celebrity scandal to come from a film festival... ever.
For a quick recap: Harry Styles and Florence Pugh’s new movie, Don’t Worry Darling, premiered at the Venice Film Festival this month, to 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 turned out self-admitted abuser Shia LaBeouf was originally supposed to play the leading man, Jack.
Plus, Pugh appeared to tactically dip out of any press to do with the film, making sure none of the mud slinging got on her lovely Valentino premiere gown.
Then, to add spit to injury, a video which appeared to show Harry Styles spitting on Chris Pine as he sat down to watch the movie at the premiere went viral.
Spitgate became the most talked about topic on the internet, and Pine’s reps had to come forward to put out the fire. “This is a ridiculous story,” a representative said, “a complete fabrication and the result of an odd online illusion that is clearly deceiving and allows for foolish speculation.”
Styles himself even poked fun at the rumours during one of his Love On Tour concerts at Madison Square Garden. “Wonderful to be back in New York,” he says to the crowd, “I just popped very quickly to Venice to spit on Chris Pine. But fear not, we're back.”
Now, a third member of the Don’t Worry Darling drama troupe has weighed in - the director herself, Olivia Wilde. Wilde has had her fair share of difficult press this month after taking much of the heat from the Shia LaBeouf revelations and negative reactions to the film. But with the release date looming large, Wilde still has to do plenty of press for the movie, including TV interviews.
Wilde appeared on The Late Show last night to talk about the film with host Stephen Colbert - and briefly touched upon its surrounding drama. Setting the record straight, Wilde said: “Harry did not spit on Chris.”
She continued: “I think it’s a perfect example of, like, people will look for drama anywhere they can.”
Wilde extended her point to cover her 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!”
She then noted that male directors are rarely invited onto talk shows to answer questions about drama within their films’ casts, to which the audience applauds. Spit or no spit, you really can’t help but feel like she has a point.