Pete Davidson was missing from the season premiere of Saturday Night Live, but he had a good reason. The comedian was off filming The Suicide Squad, director James Gunn's reboot of the 2016 DC Comics blockbuster. On Saturday night, Gunn posted a group photo featuring Davidson, proving that he was not just loafing around.
Davidson crouched in the background of Gunn's group picture on Saturday. The all-star cast was on hand, including Margot Robbie arm-in-arm with Gunn. Robbie is one of the few stars returning to the franchise in the role of Harley Quinn. Many other roles — including Pete Davidson's part — are still unannounced.
Davidson stood between Sean Gunn and Pom Klementieff in the photo. They were surrounded by other huge talents, including Nathan Fillion, Steve Agee and YouTube star Flula Borg. All of the actors were out of costume, and the plain hallway they posed in gave no hint about the upcoming movie.
"Some of #TheSuicideSquad (and Pom)," Gunn captioned the photo. "Many of us are doing weird things in this photo. After a screening of Joker (thanks [WB Pictures]!)"
Despite this photographic alibi, many fans were concerned when Davidson did not appear on the new episode of SNL. The comedian made a name for himself on the sketch show, and is a beloved part of the cast. In addition, Davidson has had a number of mental health issues in recent months, so some were worried that they might have played a role in his absence.
"Okay but am I the only one concerned by Pete Davidson’s absence??" one fan tweeted.
"So like, is Pete Davidson okay? better take good care of that kid," added another.
Davidson has a long history of mental health issues. In 2017, he entered drug rehab, believing that many of his problems stemmed from chronic marijuana use. He was later diagnosed with borderline personality disorder, and resumed occasional marijuana use to relieve his pain from Crohn's disease.
Fans have inferred a more direct cause for Davidson's stress recently however. Last year, he went through a whirlwind romance with singer Ariana Grande, following both of them breaking off long-time relationships. The became engaged quickly, then broke it off following the death of Grande's ex-boyfriend, Mac Miller.
The publicity of the breakup seemed to trigger Davidson's issues, culminating in an apparently suicidal message on Instagram. Davidson left social media altogether shortly afterwards, leaving fans uncertain of his condition from moment to moment.
That arrangement seems to be just fine with Davidson himself, who wore a sly smile in Gunn's latest picture. Still, some fans will be relieved when he eventually returns to the SNL stage.
Saturday Night Live airs every weekend at 11:30 p.m. ET on NBC.