The truth behind Nicole Kidman's reaction to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock

It's not all what it seems

Sunday's 2022 Academy Awards will forever be remembered as the one where Will Smith slapped Chris Rock on stage just moments before collecting his award for Best Actor for King Richard.

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The moment shocked viewers around the world, as well as Hollywood stars, who were present at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

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One particular reaction that went viral was that of Nicole Kidman, who was photographed with her mouth open and practically jumping out of her seat.

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Unfortunately for fans, the author of the image has now revealed this photo was actually taken hours before the incident took place.


Jessica Chastain went over to Nicole Kidman after her initial reaction to seeing her

The picture, which was snapped and posted to Getty Images, was reportedly taken during the un-televised first hour of the ceremony reserved for craft awards.

So what lead Nicole to have such a shocking reaction? Photographer Myung Chun of the Los Angeles Times, who took the now-iconic snap, has now revealed it had to do with Jessica Chastain, who later went on to win the Best Actress award.

"Yes, the picture of Nicole Kidman was taken during the non-televised portion. It appeared that she was excited to see Jessica Chastain across the room. Kidman then reached out her arms and waved to her with both hands," he told Vulture.


Nicole attended alongside her husband Keith Urban

"Shortly thereafter, Chastain walked over to greet Kidman and her husband Keith Urban," he then added.

Despite becoming a meme thanks to this photo, Nicole has remained silent since the awards show at the weekend.

One person who has spoken out, however, is Will himself, who on Monday apologised to Chris and the Academy for his behaviour.

"I would like to publicly apologize to you, Chris. I was out of line and I was wrong. I am embarrassed and my actions were not indicative of the man I want to be. There is no place for violence in a world of love and kindness," he said in his lengthy statement which he posted on Instagram.

"I would also like to apologize to the Academy, the producers of the show, all the attendees and everyone watching around the world. I would like to apologize to the Williams Family and my King Richard Family. I deeply regret that my behavior has stained what has been an otherwise gorgeous journey for all of us."

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