(NEXSTAR) – Harry Styles and Chris Pine were in Italy over the weekend for the premiere of their movie “Don’t Worry Darling” at the Venice International Film Festival. The movie’s Monday debut has left people talking about more than just the plot or performances.
One moment caught on camera has people asking: Did Harry Styles just spit on his costar?
Video shared to Twitter shows Styles taking his seat next to Pine in the auditorium. But as he’s preparing to sit, he looks toward Pine’s feet or lap before settling down in his seat. Pine stops clapping, looks down at himself, then appears to chuckle.
So what was going on? Perhaps nothing. But some viewers claim Styles was actually spitting in Pine’s direction. (Watch for yourself in the 10-second clip.)
Fans of both actors (and fans of arguing about things on the internet) played and replayed the video, trying to figure out exactly what happened. Some jumped to Styles’ defense, saying video from another angle makes it look less like Styles is spitting at Pine’s feet. Others offered an alternate explanation for Pine’s mid-clap pause: He temporarily zoned out, as he had during interviews at the film festival earlier in the weekend.
Variety co-editor-in-chief Ramin Setoodeh weighed in, saying, “Coming from the #DontWorryDarling premiere tonight, this is all I can say: There are no trash cans in the Sala Grande — not in the lobby or in the mezzanine where these seats are located. So hypothetically, if you were chewing a piece of gum, there’d be no place to put it.”
We may never know exactly what happened in those few seconds; representatives for both stars declined to comment to Newsweek.
“Don’t Worry Darling” is a psychological thriller about picture-perfect couple Alice (Florence Pugh) and her husband Jack (Styles), who live in an experimental mid-century community in the desert.
The possible #spitgate moment, however, is far from the only source of intrigue surrounding the movie’s cast.
Twitter also had a lot of fun with Pine’s glassy stare as he sat alongside Styles during a press interview. As Styles says, “My favorite thing about the movie is, like, it feels like a movie,” Pine stares straight ahead, occasionally blinking.
The question of exactly what happened in the making of “Don’t Worry Darling” has also become a source of global intrigue. Lack of clarity about everything from Shia LaBeouf’s departure from the film to Florence Pugh’s perceived lack of public support for the project have been simmering on TikTok and Twitter for some time. The rumors were furthered by a report in the Hollywood newsletter Puck, citing various anonymous studio and production sources.
The impression that Pugh isn’t supportive of the film largely comes from her silence about it on social media. Pugh is in the middle of production on “Dune 2,” a massive blockbuster, and is expected to go straight back to the set after her Venice obligations.
Though she’s the star of the film, she did not attend Venice press conference as her flight had not yet landed.
Olivia Wilde, the movie’s director, said she didn’t want to contribute to “the endless tabloid gossip” and “the noise.”
“Florence is a force and we are so grateful that she is able to make it tonight,” Wilde said. “I know as a director how disruptive it is to lose an actor even for a day.”
Wilde herself also became a tabloid fixture after paparazzi caught on to her off-screen relationship with Styles. And then there was the CinemaCon moment, in which Wilde was served custody papers by her ex, Jason Sudeikis, during a presentation about her movie on stage in front of thousands of industry professionals and theater owners.
In the past few weeks, all the little threads seemed to catch fire at once. Much of that was stoked by LaBeouf, who came out of the woodwork to contest a two-year-old narrative that he’d been fired from the project. Ultimately, his role went to Styles.
Wilde, in a Variety cover story, is not directly quoted as saying she fired LaBeouf. She did offer: “His process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions. He has a process that, in some ways, seems to require a combative energy, and I don’t personally believe that is conducive to the best performances.”
In response, LaBeouf sent private emails, texts and video messages to Variety to prove his case that he actually quit due to lack of rehearsal time. The video message, in which she tries to convince LaBeouf to stay on as Jack, was subsequently leaked online in which she calls Pugh “Miss Flo.”
“Don’t Worry Darling” premieres in U.S. theaters Sept. 23.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.