It was the waning days of summer and the Venice Film Festival was in full swing. The warm sun was setting on a perfect Italian evening, and the cast of Don’t Worry Darling was finally premiering their anticipated film. After months of rumors—cast feuds!, “Miss Flo!”, Harry and Olivia!—the Aperol spritz was flowing and things were looking up. And then, Harry Styles entered the same row in the theater as Chris Pine, leaned down towards his costar as he edged toward his seat and…did he just hock a loogie at Captain Kirk???? The Internet erupted.
Now, many months removed, Chris Pine sat down with Esquire—check out our March 2023 cover story—and gave us the lowdown on what really happened in that moment. Did Harry spit on him? Were they feuding? Was it an accidental walk-by spit? Or was it some secret exchange that only celebrities could understand? In our newest episode of Explain This, streaming above, Pine confirms that Harry did not, in any way, spit on him as he passed. He continues, adding, “Harry’s a very very kind guy.”
But Pine does admit, he sees how the fire spread. “I was on the plane with my publicist, who says I look like Rachel from Friends [with my current hairstyle], we’re flying back from Venice. And I’m sleeping, having a great time on the plane. I love planes,” he begins. “And she wakes me up, in a, you know, in a state. She says, ‘We have to craft a message about what happened in Venice.’ And I’m like ‘About what?’ ‘About Harry spitting on you.’ Which I have no idea what happened. She showed me the thing. It does look, indeed, like Harry spitting on me. He didn’t spit on me.”
Turns out, it was just a joke between Styles and Pine that was shared. As Pine says: “I think what he said, is he leaned down, and I think he said, ‘It’s just words, isn’t it?’ Because we had this little joke, because we’re all jetlagged, we’re all trying to answer these questions, and sometimes when you’re doing these press things, your brain goes all befuddled, you know, you start speaking gibberish, and we had a joke like, ‘It’s just words, man.'”
So there you have it. It’s just words, man.