Nick Kroll Jokes He Told Harry Styles to Spit on Chris Pine to Build 'Don't Worry Darling' Buzz

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Nick Kroll is taking credit for the wildly dramatic press tour surrounding his new film, Don't Worry Darling.

"The movie, if you haven't seen it yet, it's a thriller, and I think the less you know about the movie going in the better so that when you're watching it it's all new and surprising," Kroll saaid on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. "So I decided, 'Let's make a lot of buzz around the film but not about the film itself, right?'"

In the film, Kroll plays the husband of director/actress Olivia Wilde's character.

As Wilde and her cast have promoted the film in recent months, they've been plagued by drama surrounding everything from the project's early casting shakeups -- with Harry Styles taking over for Shia LaBeouf -- to Wilde's high-profile split from her long-time partner, Jason Sudeikis, and subsequent romance with her new leading man, to an alleged falling out between Wilde and lead actress Florence Pugh.

While the drama had largely been between Wilde, LaBeouf and Pugh, Styles and co-star Chris Pine were also dragged into the rumor mill over an alleged incident at the Venice Film Festival -- dubbed #Spitgate by fans online.

"I'm the puppeteer," Kroll joked of the scandals. 

"I was like, 'Hey Harry, you know what would be a great idea? When you walk into the premiere at Venice, spit on Chris Pine.' And he was like, 'Got it,' but then he was like, 'I don't know if that's gonna work,'" Kroll teased.

"Then I was like, 'Maybe you should just, you know, give me a kiss,'" he continued, "and then I asked him to spit in my mouth and he wouldn't do that. He's got boundaries. Anyway, it ended up working." 

Earlier this month, a video clip went viral from the Don't Worry Darling Venice Film Festival premiere in which 28-year-old Styles took his seat next to 42-year-old Pine at the screening. In the clip, the "As It Was" singer appeared to do something with his mouth at the exact moment that Pine stopped clapping, smiled and shook his head.

Soon after the video began making the rounds, many fans were convinced that Styles had, in fact, spit on Pine in front of hundreds of attendees at the premiere. Styles later joked about the alleged incident during a performance at Madison Square Garden, while Wilde and Pine both vehemently denied it happening. 

Later, during a standing ovation at the film's conclusion, a beaming Styles and Kroll found each other to share an embrace and a kiss on the lips. 

Kroll's new standup special, Little Big Boy, is streaming now on Netflix. Meanwhile, Don't Worry Darling officially hit theaters on Sept. 23 and topped the box office charts.

The film scored $19.2 million in North American ticket sales, with another $10.8 million internationally -- raking in an impressive $30 million globally in its opening weekend. Notably, as several trade publications reported, Styles' fans were largely to thank for the film's successful debut. Females accounted for 66 percent of ticket buyers, while nearly 70 percent were between the ages of 18 to 34. 

Perhaps the film's biggest fan, of course, was Styles' own mother. Anne Twist took to Instagram with glowing praise for Styles and his real-life girlfriend, Wilde.

"First time in the French cinema .. first day showing .. Don’t Worry Darling you were excellent! Really enjoyed from start to finish," Twist captioned the pics of herself and some friends giving their thumbs up. "Well done @oliviawilde and team for drawing us in, well done baby @harrystyles for being a fabulous Jack. Very proud as usual 😊 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼"

Don't Worry Darling is out now. 


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