Social media was ablaze on Tuesday after a journalist suggested a video appeared to show Styles spit as he took his seat next to his co-star on Sunday.
According to the Guardian, a source close to the UK singer-turned-actor said: “This is not true.”
US actor’s Pine’s representative agreed, calling the story “ridiculous”.
“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,” the US actor’s spokesperson said in a statement.
“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.”
Several videos widely shared online suggested that when Styles sat down at the premiere – with Pine in-between him and the film’s director Olivia Wilde – he appeared to spit at his co-star. Pine’s reaction seemed to suggest Styles had spat.
Billboard Pop also shared a video of Pine apparently zoning out when Styles talked about the film.
It was the latest in a string of controversies the film has courted, after fellow star Florence Pugh, who plays Styles’s on-screen partner, walked on the red carpet at the premiere but was notably absent from the press conference.
When quizzed about reports of a rift by a journalist, Wilde said she would not contribute to the “endless tabloid gossip and all the noise out there”, choosing instead to praise Pugh’s acting abilities.
Styles’s part was originally meant to have been played by Shia LaBeouf, who Wilde recently said she had fired because his “process was not conducive to the ethos that I demand in my productions”.
But the US actor denied this, telling Variety he had “quit the film due to lack of rehearsal time”. LaBeouf stoked the flames of controversy further by sharing a video that Wilde allegedly sent him in 2020, asking him to return to the production, and asking if he and Pugh could “make peace”.
But when a journalist at the same Venice press conference tried to probe further into the topic, it was swiftly shut down by the moderator.
Don’t Worry Darling, which hits UK cinemas latest this month, has received mixed reviews from critics, with the Guardian calling it an “unconvincing tale of dystopian suburbia”, while the Telegraph descried it as “largely fantastic: the sort of juicy but accessible studio production that have all but vanished since the 1990s.”