Chris Pine Zoning Out Is the Internet's New Favorite Meme

Let's all join the Don't Worry Darling star and just float away from the world for a while.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
Expertise Breaking news, entertainment, lifestyle, travel, food, shopping and deals, product reviews, money and finance, video games, pets, history, books, technology history, generational studies. Credentials
  • Co-author of two Gen X pop-culture encyclopedia for Penguin Books. Won "Headline Writer of the Year"​ award for 2017, 2014 and 2013 from the American Copy Editors Society. Won first place in headline writing from the 2013 Society for Features Journalism.
Gael Cooper
2 min read

Ever tuned out while a colleague was talking? Actor Chris Pine got caught in just such a moment at a press conference for his new movie Don't Worry Darling, and his face has fast become a meme.

Here's the background: Pine stars in the Olivia Wilde-directed psychological thriller coming to US theaters Sept. 23. While few people have seen the film yet, it's been making headlines for the supposed controversy surrounding on-set relationships and other issues

And now there's the photo, taken at the Venice Film Festival before a screening of the film in which Pine stares off into the middle distance while co-star Harry Styles gives a bizarre answer to a question. "I think, you know, my favorite thing about the movie is that it feels like a... movie," Styles said. Fans had plenty of opinions on what exactly Pine was thinking.

Many people grabbed for the same word to describe Pine's look -- "disassociate," as in, Pine really really wishes he were somewhere else. (And as you'll notice from his different outfits below, Pine didn't just display that look once, fans have memed various photos from different press events.)

Wrote one, "Chris Pine looking like a white suburban mom the morning after a wine-night crying jag."

Said another, "I understand you, Chris Pine. I too want to disassociate from what's happening around me."

The meme follows "spitgate": On Monday, the internet lit up over-examining a piece of video which some thought showed Styles spitting on Pine at the press event.

CNET's Mark Serrels summed it up well in an earlier article: "After close examination I am absolutely of the opinion that Styles did not spit on Pine because that would be insane." And on Tuesday, People magazine quoted a representative for Pine who completely shot down the intentional spitting idea. 

"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 representative said. "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."

If half of this offscreen drama shows up in the film, it'll be an Oscar contender for sure.

New Movies Coming in 2023 From Marvel, Netflix, DC and More

See all photos