Movies

The Rundown: The Harry Styles Vs. Chris Pine Spit Fiasco Was Fun As Hell

The Rundown is a weekly column that highlights some of the biggest, weirdest, and most notable events of the week in entertainment. The number of items could vary, as could the subject matter. It will not always make a ton of sense. Some items might not even be about entertainment, to be honest, or from this week. The important thing is that it’s Friday, and we are here to have some fun.

ITEM NUMBER ONE – Let the celebrities spit on each other

Okay, we are all aware of the spitting, yes? The thing where Harry Styles is alleged to have spit on his co-star Chris Pine during a press event for the massively chaotic upcoming film Don’t Worry Darling, which has been riddled with reports of on-set romances and feuds between its female star (Florence Pugh) and its director (Olivia Wilde), to the degree that every film journalist in Venice is doing high-level body language analysis at every red carpet event to see if they can uncover any additional drama? I hope you are. It’s been just a parade of anarchy for a few weeks now. Nick Kroll is there, too, because he’s also in the movie, which is really funny to me for some reason. Anyway. Chaos.

I won’t post the video of the alleged spitting because it is getting nuked offline with copyright claims as fast as people can put it up, but three things are worth noting here:

  • You have probably seen it already or can track it down if you haven’t
  • I have watched the video maybe 500 times this week and it is my opinion that there was actually no spitting, even if the thing Chris Pine does with his hands and face in the immediate aftermath is a little suspicious
  • This is really just a lot of fun for me

All of it, too. There are not enough massive entertainment stories about famous pop stars spitting on their co-stars on the press tour for indie movies. I have always said this. I will always say this. The whole thing is like the film festival version of the thing where The Rock and Vin Diesel feuded on the set of the Fast & Furious movies so much that The Rock went on Instagram and posted a whole messy message about his “male co-stars” being candy asses. Remember how much fun that was? I do. I will never forget it. It’s up there with “a teen supervillain rappelled into a showroom and stole Guy Fieri’s Lamborghini” on the list of All-Time Brian Stories.

This one isn’t there yet and will probably never get there, although I do reserve the right to alter this position if we get THE MYSTERIOUS SECOND CAMERA ANGLE.

New evidence is now being rumored — in the form of a “mystery woman” who was sitting behind both actors and may have caught the entire exchange on her phone. Now, fans are taking to social media to demand the unknown woman come forward with her “conclusive” footage. According to photos taken at the event, the woman — who is seated two rows behind the “Watermelon Sugar” singer and Pine — was the closest person to the altercation except Wilde, who was looking the other way at the time.

I mean, yeah. We’ve just got everything here. Scandal, superstars, spit, mysterious women with potentially explosive video evidence, all of it. And that’s before we get to my favorite part of it all, which is the thing where publicists and extremely famous people had to wade out into public and issue strongly worded denials about people spitting on each other. Here is Chris Pine’s representative giving a statement to Variety that I like to imagine was tapped out furiously on an iPhone.

“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,” Pine’s rep said in a statement to Variety. “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.”

And here’s Harry Styles himself addressing it at his sold-out concert at Madison Square Garden, which is another nice reminder that the alleged spitter in this scenario, in addition to being the star of a little film festival movie, is also one of the most famous people in the entire world.

“This is our tenth show at Madison Square Garden. It’s wonderful, wonderful, wonderful to be back in New York. I just popped very quickly to Venice to spit on Chris Pine,” Styles says jokingly in video footage captured by fans. “But fret not, we’re back!”

It’s great. I love it. I love every part of it. And the beautiful thing about it all is that it doesn’t even really matter if the spitting was real at this point. If it was, great, then Harry Styles and Chris Pine hated each other so much while making this movie that their disdain spilled over into the press tour with spaced-out stares and actual loogies, which is so messy and funny that it should be documented by historians and in museums.

Or, it’s not real, and these poor dudes have had to spend an entire week answering questions about a spit-related incident that never happened. And Nick Kroll was there. Like, the whole time. I don’t think we can possibly overstate that last part. I like to picture him doing the Coach Steve voice from Big Mouth to try to settle things down on the set.

You can never take this away from me.

ITEM NUMBER TWO – Kathryn Hahn is going to destroy in the new Knives Out movie

This is the first teaser trailer for the second Knives Out movie, which comes out December 23 and is called Glass Onion. There’s not much there by way of substance, I guess, which makes enough sense given the thing where the movie doesn’t come out for over two months and they’re not going to come right out and tell us today who committed the murder and why they did it. That would be kind of funny, though. If they just full-on spoiled the whole Christmas event movie in a 90-second YouTube video they dropped on an 82-degree day in September. I would respect it, if only for the needless chaos of the whole thing. Something to consider for the next one, which I still want to feature Daniel Craig and then just a lot of Muppets.

Anyway, my point here is that the trailer gives us our first look at the cast in action, and one member of that cast is Kathryn Hahn, and Kathryn Hahn is going to absolutely dominate in this sucker. To be clear, I’m not saying her character is going to be a dominating figure. That could be the case. Very few people on earth know that for sure so far. What I mean is that Kathryn Hahn and the sensibilities of the Knives Out universe are a perfect match and I would bet all of my own money and most of yours that she is going to be awesome in this.

That should not be a controversial statement, either. Kathryn Hahn rules in almost everything and has for a while. The rest of the cast is great, too. Dave Bautista is playing an influencer named Duke Cody who packs a firearm in his Speedo and appears to be having a blast. That’s great. But Kathryn Hahn — if she wants to, which she might not because she is a team player — will absolutely eat his lunch in front of him. I’m excited. I was excited already. Now I’m, like, double excited.

The only downside in all of this is that it took them all the way until the second movie to get her into the series. I mean, what are we doing here? That’s some Day One business right there. But we are remedying that now, at least. Better late than never.

ITEM NUMBER THREE – This is art to me

Okay. The Queen of England died this week. You know that. It’s been all over the news. There have been so many tributes, including one from — I promise this is true — Domino’s Pizza. It’s been pretty weird. And that was before The Rock tweeted out this video. It is… it is incredible. One of the most fascinating things I’ve ever seen online. I’m not exaggerating. Please watch it. We have:

  • Professional wrestler turned A-list movie star Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
  • Delivering a heartfelt two-minute video message to the royal family of England about the death of the Queen
  • Very informally and personal, like he knows them, almost like they’re people who live down the street from him
  • From his home gym
  • Where he appears to be mid-workout
  • In a skin-tight quarter zip Los Angeles Rams shirt
  • In front of a massive American flag, which is kind of hilarious from a historical perspective
  • With the workout music still blasting

Again, incredible. I’ve watched it twice just now while typing this. I might watch it again when I’m done. Please take some time this weekend and really think about all we’ve seen here. Soak everything in, one of those bullet points at a time. I’m going to stop typing now but please know that I will be thinking about this for days, at minimum. Probably weeks.

ITEM NUMBER FOUR – This makes sense now

baywatch
PARAMOUNT

Hey, speaking of The Rock and a borderline maniacal commitment to physical fitness, his Baywatch co-star, Zac Efron did an interview with Men’s Health this week where he talked about how getting insanely shredded for that movie actually kind of sucked a lot. Good for him. Good for Zac Efron, being honest about that stuff. Look at him ripping back the curtain with his still plenty shredded arms.

“That Baywatch look, I don’t know if that’s really attainable,” he says. “There’s just too little water in the skin. Like, it’s fake; it looks CGI’d,” he says. “And that required Lasix, powerful diuretics, to achieve. So I don’t need to do that. I much prefer to have an extra, you know, 2 to 3% body fat.”

I had never thought or even considered this next thing I am going to type until this very moment: It would make me really happy if Zac Efron got a little fat for a year or two. Not, like, super unhealthy or anything. And I’m not saying this out of jealousy. I like Zac Efron. He is so good in the Neighbors movies. But he’s been doing this for so long and there’s so much pressure based on his appearance I think he would like eating some donuts more often than he does.

Donuts are great. Have some donuts, Zac.

Aside from the diuretics—which explains the lack of water in the skin—Efron also stuck to a diet consisting of “organic protein and leafy greens.” And lots of workouts. Like: months and months and months of intense workouts. He now says he was probably overtraining—and losing sleep because of it; workouts started at 4 a.m. some days.

Hmm.

Hmmmmm.

No thank you to any of that.

“I started to develop insomnia, and I fell into a pretty bad depression, for a long time. Something about that experience burned me out. I had a really hard time recentering.”

This last part actually gets me to my point here. Do you guys remember the little eco-travel show Zac Efron made for Netflix a couple years ago? The one where he zipped around the world learning about the environment and saying things like “these turbines are sick” and just having his mind blown every 20 minutes in the most sincere and pure way you can possibly imagine? I hope so. I loved that show. It was legitimately fun and good. And at one point he sat down for a pasta dinner with his co-host and a sweet old woman and he kind of got weirdly emotional about how happy he was to be eating carbs again. Look at his face.

ZAC
NETFLIX

So… yeah. That all suddenly makes a ton of sense now. You’d be emotional about some gnocchi too if you had been waking up at 4 am for months and eating a single leaf and dehydrating yourself on purpose so you wouldn’t look like a schlub next to a dude whose name is literally The Rock. I’m so happy he ate those carbs now, too. Someone make Zac Efron a pan of lasagna. Make me some lasagna, too. Make lasagna for me and Zac Efron. We’ve both earned it. For different reasons.

ITEM NUMBER FIVE – It is pretty cool that Tim Robinson won an Emmy

The creative arts Emmys were last weekend, over Labor Day, which is both a little weird and something I would not mention here if something really cool did not happen during the ceremony. But you knew that. Because you trust me. And because you saw the title of this section. It is cool, though. It’s cool that Tim Robinson won an individual Emmy for acting in I Think You Should Leave. It’s less cool that the show itself lost to Carpool Karaoke, but still. Not the point. Positive vibes only here.

He did a whole interview about the show a few weeks ago over at Vanity Fair, along with his co-creator Zach Kanin. Feel free to read the whole thing if you missed it back then, but I want to focus on one specific part, about the sketch above. After getting into how much he hated the costume and how he gets claustrophobic and riddled with anxiety and kind of has panic attacks under heavy prosthetics like those, we got to this.

How aware were the people in that mall of what was going on?

Robinson: Some people were actors, but they couldn’t hear…they were just going about the day. Because I’m in the suit, I was talking to Gary, but they couldn’t hear Gary. So I think it was probably just confusing for them. Because it wasn’t a prank.

Kanin: It’s just a guy.

Robinson: [Laughs.] Just a guy.

Please imagine you’re in a mall trying to buy back-to-school stuff or something and you come around the corner near the food court and, blammo, there’s Karl Havoc. Think about how you’d react to that without any context. I think I might have screamed in a very non-masculine way. I feel no shame in admitting this. And when my friends brought it up months later to roast me about it, I could now counter with “yeah, but that dude won an Emmy for that!”

Enough to make it all worth it. Kind of. But good for Tim!

ITEM NUMBER SIX – WHY WASN’T THIS A TV SHOW??????

I will be quick about this only because my blood is boiling and stewing all my internal organs and I need to move on for my own health but… how… how did Redman — very famous rapper and goofball and star of How High — go on dozens of skydives and study for and pass an actual skydiving exam… in 2022… without one of the many streaming services out there throwing money and cameras at him to document it all?

How did this one slip through everyone’s fingers? I’m asking honestly now. I want to know, in part because, again, I’m very angry and want names and the heads of the people who have those names, but also because I want us to correct whatever went wrong here so it never happens again.

Why do I not have 10 episodes of a Redman skydiving show at my fingertips right now?

Just unacceptable on every level. Do better.

READER MAIL

If you have questions about television, movies, food, local news, weather, or whatever you want, shoot them to me on Twitter or at brian.grubb@uproxx.com (put “RUNDOWN” in the subject line). I am the first writer to ever answer reader mail in a column. Do not look up this last part.

From Josiah on Twitter:

This is just really terrific work by everyone. George RR Martin for littering his violent dragon books with character names from Sesame Street, Josiah for correctly identifying that I would adore this piece of information, and me for posting it here as fast as I could. We are all doing great.

I hope one of the dragons is named Big Bird. I might start calling one that anyway now. They have wings and they fly and they are big. It works. Shut up. Let me have this one.

AND NOW, THE NEWS

To Milan!

A drug-sniffing dog led frontier police Friday at a Milan airport to some 13 kilograms (nearly 30 pounds) of cocaine stuffed into the leather upholstery of a motorized wheelchair, whose user immediately stood up and was arrested, authorities said.

Okay, I need to be clear about two things here before we go any further:

  • This was not me
  • I have not been faking my spinal cord injury for over a decade so I can smuggle cocaine inside my power wheelchair

Moving on.

When a dog drew officers’ attention to the traveler, police first checked his luggage, which yielded nothing, then slashed the wheelchair’s upholstery, discovering the cocaine.

I will say, against my better judgment, that this is kind of genius. People do not question me about anything, usually. I joke all the time that I could straight up steal stuff if I wanted and people probably would not stop me. Sometimes, when I’m leaving a store, my wheelchair will set off the little alarms by the door — this just happened in the mall last week, there was a lot of buzzing and beeping — and the people in the store will apologize to me about it from behind the counter instead of checking to see if I’m trying to sneak out with hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise.

So there’s that.

But don’t do it.

If only so people do not start hassling me.

I’m very busy.

Police said that when the cocaine was found, the chair user — a Spaniard who had requested airport personnel to help guide the wheelchair — got up, walked without assistance and was taken into custody.

Also, do not fake a disability for personal gain, in general. I probably should have led with that.

Police said the 11 packets of cocaine, weighing a total of 13.35 kilograms (nearly 30 pounds) could have yielded some 27,000 individual doses of the drug and had a street sale value of some 1.4 million euros (dollars).

To recap:

  • This is diabolical
  • Do not do it
  • I swear to god this was not me

I am glad we had this chat.

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