Lupita Nyong'o knows what it takes to create the perfect react meme.
In a new cover interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the Black Panther: Wakanda Foreverstar talked about how she knew the internet would take her wide-eyed reaction to Will Smith's infamous Oscars slap and turn it into a viral meme.
Lupita Nyong’o has now been part of two (2) iconic Oscars moments pic.twitter.com/qdNej1vXQV— Rachel Simon (@Rachel_Simon) March 28, 2022
"Once the moment was over, I realized, ‘Oh my God, there's no way all this transpired and I'm not in the shot,'" Nyong'o said, with the publication noting that she was sitting right behind Smith and his wife, Jada Pinkett-Smith, when things started to get heated between the actor and Oscars host Chris Rock.
"I knew as soon as it was over that I was going to be a meme," she added. That said, Nyong'o was more hesitant to answer a question about what it was like to see the slap firsthand, saying that she didn't want "to add any more fuel to that thing, quite frankly."
After all, the dramatic altercation was all anyone could talk about after the broadcast, during which Rock made a joke about Pinkett-Smith's shaved head. But given that the look is related to her ongoing struggle with alopecia — an autoimmune condition that results in hair loss — her husband didn't take kindly to the jab, resulting in him walking on-stage and striking the comedian across the face before saying, "Keep my wife’s name out of your fucking mouth."
On the heels of the unexpected incident, the backlash caused Smith to resign from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, an official investigation and a ban from all of its events for the next 10 years. He also ended up apologizing to Rock the day after the Oscars and for a second time via YouTube in July. However, Rock seemed less than impressed with the video, as he later responded by saying, "fuck your hostage video" during a set at London's O2 Arena in September.
You can read Nyong'o's entire cover interview for The Hollywood Reporterhere.
Photo via Shutterstock / Jaguar PS
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