The actor, as part of an Esquire profile, also says he still doesn't know anything about the upcoming 'Star Trek' movie, the announcement of which last year surprised the franchise stars.
Chris Pine is finally revealing what happened between him and Harry Styles in the viral video where it looks like the pop star is spitting on his Don’t Worry Darling co-star.
“Harry did not spit on me. Harry’s a very, very kind guy,” Pine said in a video accompanying an Esquire profile published Wednesday. His comments echo those of director Olivia Wilde, who insisted on Stephen Colbert’s Late Show last fall that Styles didn’t spit on Pine.
In the Esquire video, Pine guessed that Styles was saying something to him in the much-discussed moment, perhaps, “It’s just words, isn’t it?”
He added, “We had this little joke because we’re all jet-lagged; we’re all trying to answer these questions. And sometimes when you’re doing these press things, your brain goes befuddled and you start speaking gibberish. But it’s just words, man.”
Pine said he heard about the rumors of what happened, dubbed “spit-gate,” on his flight back from Venice. He was sleeping, he recalled, when his publicist woke him up “in a state” and “says we have to craft a message about what happened.”
He was unaware of what his rep was referring to, so she showed him the video and Pine admits that in the clip, it “does indeed look like he’s spitting on me. He didn’t spit on me.”
At the time, Pine’s rep said of the rumors of Styles spitting on her client: “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. Just to be clear, Harry Styles did NOT spit on Chris Pine. 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.”
Pine also revealed what he was really thinking behind the image of him seemingly staring off into space and looking up at the ceiling during the Don’t Worry Darling press conference.
Again, he blamed the jet lag. “It’s a long fucking flight to Italy. It’s a long time,” he said in the Esquire video. “I was so jet-lagged, and then you get thrown into a press conference where you have to talk about a film you made five-and-a-half years ago. I was just tired, frankly.”
He also said that in the photo where he’s looking up he’s actually admiring a dramatic ceiling. “It should be known that the press conferences in Venice are in one of the most gorgeous buildings I’ve ever seen and the ceilings are like blue with gold gilt. So there’s one of these [memes] where I’m looking up, and what I’m really thinking is, ‘How can I do that to my ceiling?’ That’s what was going through my head.”
In the accompanying article, he added, “Sometimes the question’s not that interesting,” he said, “and you just fucking zone out, and you’re looking at a ceiling because it’s really pretty.
“All the memes I saw about my face in Venice made me fucking laugh,” he added, revealing he particularly enjoyed “me on an important Zoom call watching my cat throw up on the sofa.”
The Don’t Worry Darling press tour was dominated by rumors of behind-the-scenes drama, including that star Florence Pugh had clashed with Wilde during filming. Pine said he isn’t aware of any bad blood between Pugh, whom he loves “to fucking death,” and Wilde. But he’s upset the film may have been overshadowed by viral elements around the promotion of the project.
“If there was drama, there was drama,” he said of Don’t Worry Darling. But he added, “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.”
Pine also talked about what’s arguably his most famous franchise, the Star Trek films. It was announced last year that he and several of his co-stars in the 2009 J.J. Abrams relaunch would be returning for a new film. But shortly after that news broke, from Abrams and Paramount boss Brian Robbins at an investor event, reps for a number of Star Trek stars said they were surprised to learn of the film.
Pine indicated that he still doesn’t know what’s going on with the movie.
“I don’t know anything,” he said, suggesting that that is somewhat typical of the franchise. “In Star Trek land, the actors are usually the last people to find out anything. I know costume designers that have read scripts before the actors.”
When asked if it’s weird to be announced as Captain Kirk and not know what you’re signing onto, Pine said, “I would say it’s frustrating. It doesn’t really foster the greatest sense of partnership, but it’s how it’s always been. I love the character. I love the people. I love the franchise. But to try to change the system in which things are created — I just can’t do it. I don’t have the energy.”
Abrams was vague about the project when contacted by Esquire, saying he’s still looking for a director after Matt Shakman left the project. “I will say it’s the first time [since the original reboot] that we have a story that feels as compelling as the first one,” he told the publication.
While he seems up for another voyage, Pine suggests the death of co-star Anton Yelchin has also cast a shadow over the franchise.
“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 told Esquire, fading off. He didn’t finish that thought, the writer revealed. But a few minutes later, Pine suggested the franchise “feels like it’s cursed.”
The new movie was later taken off the release calendar.
Pine and co-star Chris Hemsworth exited the planned Star Trek 4 in 2018 after talks between the two actors and the companies making the films fell apart.
And, amid the uncertainty surrounding Kevin Costner’s future on Taylor Sheridan’s hit series Yellowstone, Pine, who starred in Sheridan’s 2016 film Hell or High Water, was asked if he would consider joining the franchise. (It’s been reported that Matthew McConaughey is considering saddling up, and Sheridan has a history of re-casting his stars.)
“I love Montana,” Pine said. “I love Kevin Costner. I love horses.”