Academy Awards

The Truth About That Nicole Kidman Viral Oscars Photo

No, that viral photo of Nicole Kidman looking shocked wasn't her reaction to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock at the 2022 Oscars. Find out what she was actually reacting to below

actress Nicole Kidman
ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Although Nicole Kidman didn't walk away from the 2022 Oscars with an award, she did win over hearts as a new meme.

Soon after Will Smith stunned the world when he got out of his seat and slapped presenter Chris Rock onstage, reacting to the comedian's joke about Jada Pinkett Smith's shaved head, which is a result of the actress' years-long struggles with alopecia, a photo of Kidman looking shocked quickly made its way online. And, naturally, many social media users started purporting that the image was a snap of the "Being the Ricardo" star's response to the unscripted altercation.

However, that theory has since been proven false thanks to Myung Chun, the photographer behind the now-viral pic. In an interview with Vulture published on March 28, Chun revealed that the picture was taken during a non-televised portion of the awards show hours before Smith and Rock's headline-making confrontation.

So, what was Kidman actually reacting to? The truth is much more heartwarming.

2022 Oscars Red Carpet Fashion

According to Chun, Kidman was snapped just as Jessica Chastain, who won the Oscar for Best Actress later that night, had walked into the Dolby Theatre in her stunning Gucci gown.

"It appeared that she was excited to see Jessica Chastain across the room," Chun said. "Kidman then reached out her arms and waved to her with both hands."

The photographer added that "Chastain walked over to greet Kidman and her husband Keith Urban" shortly after the photo was taken.

This wasn't the first time Kidman's appearance at the Oscars became a meme. Back in 2017, video footage of the "Nine Perfect Strangers" actress clapping during the awards ceremony captured the Internet's attention, with some people comparing her peculiar applause to a "seal clap."

Kidman later shared that the massive Harry Winston diamond ring she wore that night was to blame. "It was really difficult because I had a huge ring on that was not my own," she explained on the "Kyle and Jackie O Show" weeks after viral moment. "It was absolutely gorgeous, and I was terrified of damaging it."

Someone give Kidman an award for most iconic Oscar memes.

Will Smith smacked actor and comedian Chris Rock on the Oscars stage and then won best actor for his role in “King Richard”; “CODA” won best picture at the Oscars; and more.
Copyright E! Online
Contact Us