The cast of Don't Worry Darling at the premiere in Venice

What the Hell Happened at the ‘Don’t Worry Darling’ Premiere at the Venice Film Festival? As Told Through Memes

Oh, the Don’t Worry Darling premiere lit up Twitter this Labor Day weekend, and it was simply because we were all trying to figure out what in the world was going on at the Venice Film Festival. For months, rumors have been brewing online, and for the most part, the cast has ignored them. In fact, earlier on September 5, at the press conference for the film, director Olivia Wilde said that the supposed “feud” drama—particularly between her and the film’s lead, Florence Pugh—was just internet fodder and didn’t pay it any mind. And so, discerning the truth then became a game online when we all slowly started to see how the cast was interacting together, and thus, the greatest night of memes (second only to the night that Donald Trump got COVID) was born.

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Now, we don’t currently know whether or not any of the internet’s theories are true. We know that there is a little bit of murky water in what happened with the original casting of the role of Jack—played by Harry Styles in the final film but originally set to be filed by Shia LaBeouf—and what Wilde told the public was the truth behind LaBeouf’s departure versus what he says is the truth, and we know that Florence Pugh isn’t really doing press for Don’t Worry Darling (despite being the star) because of her work on Dune: Part II as Princess Irulan.

So, heading into the premiere and press conference was big for those of us who are invested in whatever is true about the making of Don’t Worry Darling, and the day left so many of us with more questions about this cast and the creative process than we had at the start, as well as what happened on that carpet/in the screening. So let’s break it down by everyone’s favorite memes from throughout the day.

Harry Styles explaining how a movie feels like a movie

I love Harry Styles a great deal. I’ve never said he was our most eloquent actor, and this is also his first major motion picture press tour. So, it isn’t surprising that he’s not exactly the best at describing the film he’s promoting. What was hilarious about yesterday was that they paired him not with the other lead of the film but, instead, with Christopher Whitelaw Pine, the man who plays word games in interviews because he has a bachelor’s degree from Berkeley.

“You know, my favorite thing about the movie is like it feels like a movie,” Styles says in the video, in which Chris Pine is just staring off. “It feels like a real like go to the theater film, movie. The reason that you go to watch something on the big screen.” What Styles is saying? Twitter didn’t know.

This is just simply made to be memed. Think about it. How often do you think about why you like movies and just go on some tangent that doesn’t make sense, but you get it because you love movies? That’s what Harry did. He just happened to be at the Venice Film Festival as the star of a film when he did it. So honestly, I think it’s relatable. This is me when someone asks me why I went to see I, Tonya in the theaters eight times.

I just hope that this is the new AMC commercial starring Nicole Kidman.

In my dear sweet prince’s defense, he did fly in, from his sold out residency in New York City for his latest album Harry’s House, to be at the film festival for Don’t Worry Darling, so he was struggling all day. At one point, he asked if his response answered a question and then just pointed out “It was words,” and that’s a mood.

Chris Pine dissociating

My favorite Chris, the love of my life, is Christopher Whitelaw Pine. I love this English kid-turned-movie star so much, and this press event was a journey for him—mainly in that he seemed to dissociate the entire time and became a meme and a mood board, as he is wont to do. This time, it was by simply looking like he would rather be anywhere else while sitting at the press conference and in the interviews at the festival.

It started with him staring off into space with headphones on, went to him just staring at the ceiling, and continued with a series of him just seeming to completely check out—and I don’t necessarily blame him. A lot of questions went to Harry Styles, and for a movie that is supposedly about power and has a female lead, it’s strange to have it all centered around her male co-star instead of questions about Alice as a character.

And sure, that could be because Florence Pugh wasn’t there for this portion of the day, but still, I understand why Pine would check out given that not many questions were aimed at him or co-star Gemma Chan.

It has also led to a rise of everyone using Chris Pine wearing those headphones as a meme.

Florence Pugh arriving late with an Aperol Spritz

And now we’ve made it to “Miss Flo” and her appearance in Venice. First of all, I love her and she always has my sword. Second, showing up in a look and bringing an Aperol Spritz with you? A mood. The official reason given for Florence’s absence from the press conference was that she was filming Dune: Part II and couldn’t come earlier, and while star Timothée Chalamet was in Venice all weekend having the time of his life, it could have been just a difference in filming schedules.

It makes sense, but then seeing how she rolled up to the festival? Iconic. Who among us wouldn’t show up late with a drink in hand not giving a single solitary f**k?

She landed with Granzo Pat (her grandmother) in tow, and the two seemed to have the best day there. It was truly beautiful to see Florence Pugh highlight her grandma and use this time to celebrate her and share her story.

Despite not doing the press, Pugh made her entrance and seemed to have fun despite everything going on in the rumor mill, and that’s honestly what is important. She focused on having a great time with her Granzo Pat and seeing some of her friends again, and she smiled her way through the day. And also, I must thank her for the new memes, because walking into a room with an Aperol Spritz when you’re already late? That’s a move I would love to co-opt.

The boys photographing Miss Flo

One thing I personally never worried about was Florence Pugh hanging out with Chris Pine. The two seem to genuinely love each other and have worked together previously, on the film Outlaw King, and seemed excited to be together again. That was proven correct when they showed up on the red carpet and instantly embraced each other. (I know, seems like the bare minimum, but given how the rest of the carpet went, this was great!)

It led to a great moment on the carpet when Pine, with a disposable camera in hand, came up to Pugh and started taking her picture. And Pugh, for her part, instantly started posing for him and having fun.

There are quite a few pictures of Pugh posing for Pine, and they were having a great time together. Then, as co-star Nick Kroll joined Pine, Pugh began to laugh and pose for them both and have fun on the carpet, which was exciting to see given, well, the entire day and the mood surrounding it all.

Now though, if you were thinking the “Miss Flo” of it all was over, you’d be mistaken, as Pugh’s stylist added fuel to the internet’s fire with her caption of Florence Pugh’s look. Rebecca Corbin-Murray posted beautiful pictures of Florence Pugh on the boat on the way to the carpet, the caption reading “Miss Flo.”

Now, the “Miss Flo” situation is a bit of a hot topic of conversation. In a leaked video, Olivia Wilde seems to be begging Shia LaBeouf to stay on as Jack in Don’t Worry Darling (all prior to the FKA Twigs allegations), and it does seem to contradict her narrative that she fired LaBeouf for being combative. But in the video in question, Wilde calls Pugh “Miss Flo” and says that it will hopefully give her a wake-up call.

The issue, for me at least, is that if anyone called me “Miss Rach” behind my back, I don’t think I’d particularly love it. And while Florence Pugh does go by “Flo” (as exhibited in her cooking show Cooking With Flo that she does on Instagram), this feels like a jab and posting “Miss Flo” as your caption in the midst of all this? Perfection.

Did Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine?

And now we’ve reached the last bit of investigative fodder that came out of the premiere: Harry Styles seemingly spitting on Chris Pine.

For whatever reason, the person who did the seating arrangements for this premiere deserves an Oscar themselves.

But what it did was leave Chris Pine between Olivia Wilde and Harry Styles. When Wilde and Pine were sitting, Styles came up to Pine, looked as if he spit on Pine, and sat down. The two were laughing and interacting with each other, so it doesn’t look like—whatever actually happened between the two—it was out of actual malice. If anything, the way the two were messing around with each other throughout the day, it could be a game.

But it also led to the sleuths of the internet trying to figure out what happened. There are those protecting Harry’s honor saying that he reminded Pine where his sunglasses were (that is almost definitely not what happened), while others are saying that Pine got marker on his pants (which is possible, but also the “marker” in question was his sunglasses), so we’re not stuck in a world of “What actually happened?!??!?”

One of the hilarious things about this is that all this went down when it was very late in Venice, meaning we all spent the night, in the United States and beyond, going on and on about this when the cast and crew of Don’t Worry Darling probably were sleeping, which means we haven’t gotten any clarification on whether or not Harry Styles spit on Chris Pine.

It also does feel outlandish when you say it

So, what this has become is a whole internet theory and everyone putting their thoughts into the ring to try to see what really happened between the two of them. If anything, I think they were just messing with each other, which is fine and fun! Those press days can be long and tiring, and making a bit of fun with your co-star could be a way to pass the time.

This moment just, unfortunately, was caught on camera in multiple angles and has now broken the internet so completely that everyone is still talking about it.

Look, all of this is taking away from a movie that I have genuinely been excited for. I still can’t wait to see it and see what is going on with this film (because we don’t know a lot about it, and I don’t want to read reviews until I’ve seen it for myself). So while all of this was a fun day on Twitter, I do hope that everyone keeps the energy up to see the movie and see what is going on, since we don’t know anything that happened behind the scenes.

But the memes of Florence Pugh and Chris Pine? They’ll live on forever. (Gemma Chan and Nick Kroll just living their best lives in Venice are also a mood.)

(featured image: Kate Green/Getty Images)


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Rachel Leishman
Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. She's been a writer professionally since 2016 but was always obsessed with movies and television and writing about them growing up. A lover of Spider-Man and Wanda Maximoff's biggest defender, she has interests in all things nerdy and a cat named Benjamin Wyatt the cat. If you want to talk classic rock music or all things Harrison Ford, she's your girl but her interests span far and wide. Yes, she knows she looks like Florence Pugh. She has multiple podcasts, normally has opinions on any bit of pop culture, and can tell you can actors entire filmography off the top of her head. Her work at the Mary Sue often includes Star Wars, Marvel, DC, movie reviews, and interviews.