Sources close to Harry Styles have denied the singer and actor spat on co-star Chris Pine at the premiere of their film, Don’t Worry Darling, at the Venice film festival on Monday.
Speculation dominated sections of the internet overnight and through Tuesday after video footage emerged which appeared to show Styles depositing spittle into Pine’s lap as he took his seat for the world premiere.
“This is not true,” said sources close to Styles on Tuesday. Pine’s rep later released a statement saying: “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. 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.”
The suggestion of such behaviour was fuelled by what appears to have been a tense press push for the film so far. Pine appeared disengaged at Monday’s press conference, during which Olivia Wilde, the film’s director, sought to downplay rumours of a rift between her and the film’s star, Florence Pugh.
Pugh did not appear at the press conference, but did show up for the premiere, at which she appeared to consciously avoid eye contact with Wilde.
A later question during the press conference about the departure of Shia LaBeouf from the film was shut down before Wilde had the chance to reply.
Don’t Worry Darling is a thriller set in a seemingly perfect US suburb. Styles and Pugh play a couple whose marriage comes under strain when Pugh’s character uncovers a secret about a neighbour’s disappearance.
Reviews of the film have been broadly unfavourable, with critics praising Pugh but suggesting Styles’s acting prowess may be lacking.
“I have no idea what I’m doing,” said Styles at Monday’s press conference.