Chris Pine Sets the Record Straight on Whether Harry Styles Actually Spit on Him

The moment at the Venice Film Festival went viral back in September.

The loogie never happened. Don't just take anyone's word for it. Take it from Chris Pine, who set the record straight on Harry Styles' so-called spitgate.

Pine, who covers the March 2023 issue of Esquire, and is featured on the magazine's series, "Explain This," went into detail about what transpired in September at the Venice Film Festival, where the Don't Worry Darling cast was promoting the Olivia Wilde-directed film. At that point, the film had taken a backseat to all the drama surrounding the film, and things only got more intense when the internet was convinced Styles spat on Pine as he sauntered over to his seat for the film's premiere in Italy.

In the clip, the "As It Was" singer appears to do something with his mouth at the exact moment that Pine stops clapping, smiles and shakes his head. Soon after the clip began making the rounds, many fans were convinced Styles had, in fact, spit on Pine in front of hundreds of attendees at the premiere. 

Pine's rep denied Styles spit on Pine, calling the story "ridiculous" and "a complete fabrication." Wilde soon entered the chat room and denied the spit ever went down. But now, for the first time, Pine's explaining in his own words that although he can see why fans thought it looked like Styles spit on him, the fact of the matter is it never happened. Pine also explained how he found out about spitgate spreading like wildfire on social media.

"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 tells Esquire. "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."

Mark Seliger

So, what actually happened then? Pine explains, too, describing the whole thing as an inside joke.

"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,'" he explains.

Pine also offered his perspective on the drama surrounding the film before it even hit theaters -- from the cast shakeup and Wilde-Styles' whirlwind onset romance to Wilde's alleged feud with the film's star, Florence Pugh. As far as Pine is concerned, he was oblivious to it all. 

"I absolutely didn’t know about it, nor really would I have cared," says Pine about the drama. "If I feel badly, it’s because the vitriol that the movie got was absolutely out of proportion with what was onscreen. Venice was normal things getting swept up in a narrative that people wanted to make, compounded by the metastasizing that can happen in the Twittersphere. It was ridiculous."

Esquire's March issue hits stands everywhere on March 7.