Don’t Worry Darling star Chris Pine had a helluva 2022. The press tour for the film, which starred him alongside Harry Styles and Florence Pugh, and was directed by Olivia Wilde, contained some viral moments that the internet just couldn’t put down.
The biggest was SpitGate, where the “As It Was” Grammy winner apparently spit on Pine during the Venice Film Festival. Now, in a new encompassing interview with Esquire, the Star Trek legend is setting the record straight.
“Harry did not spit on me!”
During a video segment for the magazine, Pine elaborated, “Harry is a very kind guy. I was on the plane and we’re flying back from Venice, having a great time on the plane, and my publicist wakes me up and says, ‘We have to craft a statement on what happened in Venice.’ She showed me the thing, and it did look, indeed, like Harry spit on me. He didn’t spit on me.”
He continued, “I think Harry leaned down and said, ‘It’s just words isn’t it?' We had this little joke. We were all jet lagged and trying to answer questions and sometimes when you’re doing these press things your brain goes befuddled and you start speaking gibberish, so we had a joke: ‘It’s just words.'”
Of course, that wasn’t the only moment on the press tour that caught the internet’s eye. During one interview including both Pine and Styles, as Styles made that oddball quote, “My favourite thing about the movie is it feels like a movie,” Pine seemed to bear an expression like he was caught in the third circle of hell.
“All the memes I saw about my face in Venice made me fucking laugh,” he tells Esquire, especially the one captioned “me on an important zoom call watching my cat throw up on the sofa.”
“Sometimes the question’s not that interesting,” he admits “and you just f***ing zone out, and you’re looking at a ceiling because it’s really pretty.”
Of course, Don’t Worry Darling was the subject of endless drama. Styles and Wilde began dating during production. Shia LaBeouf was seemingly fired from the production, then claimed he actually quit. Wilde and Pugh apparently hated each other. Wilde was publicly served by ex-partner Jason Sudeikis while presenting the film at CinemaCon. It just went on and on.
“If there was drama, there was drama,” Pine frankly says, but insists that wasn’t his experience.
“I absolutely didn’t know about it, nor really would I have cared. 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.”
He goes on to call Styles “a sweet guy” and says he loves Florence Pugh “to f***ing death.”
There’s more to the Esquire profile. The hunky Wonder Woman star, whose own father Robert Pine was the massive star of CHiPS backs in the 70s and 80s, says that he loves to approach acting roles with the ability to deconstruct toxic masculinity.
“I’m willfully emasculating myself, because I just don’t give a s***. If it makes me laugh, it makes me laugh. I love looking like a fool.
“Kirk’s like that, too,” he says of his iconic role of Captain James T. Kirk in the JJ Abrahms reboot. “In [Star Trek], he’s James Dean, and then he walks in to meet Bones and he hits his head. I want to be able to show that you can be cool and masculine without having it be a pissing contest all the time. And if you’re pissing, sometimes you piss on your foot and you can look like a fucking idiot.”
He also laments the lack of any new Star Trek projects in the past six years, noting that when Chekhov star Anton Yelchin passed away from a freak accident, it seems to have stalled progress.
“After the last one came out and didn’t do the $1 billion that everybody wanted it to do, and then Anton passed away, I don’t know, it just seemed . . .” he trails off before adding that the franchise “feels like it’s cursed.”
There are so many other interesting anecdotes and stories from the profile, you can read the entire Esquire interview here.