Jessica Chastain Says She Tried To 'Create A Calmness' In Room Following Will Smith's Oscars Slap

Jessica Chastain Says She Tried To 'Create A Calmness' In Room Following Will Smith's Oscars Slap

Shortly after the slap heard around the world, many moments at the 94th Academy Awards were either overlooked or lost in translation. One was Jessica Chastain’s Best Actress Oscar win for her portrayal of evangelist Tammy Faye Messner in The Eyes Of Tammy Faye.

In an interview with Net-a-Porter, Chastain described the energy in the room following Will Smith’s shocking moment.

“I walked into a very charged energy in that room, and I was trying to figure out how to just breathe and create a calmness,” Chastain said.

For those unfamiliar, during the 94th Academy Awards. Oscar winner Smith walked on stage and slapped comedian Chris Rock after the latter made a joke about wife Jada Pinkett Smith’s shaved head,

Prior to her long-overdue Oscar win, Chastain was nominated in the Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress categories for her roles in Zero Dark Thirty and The Help. 

On her awards speech:

“I didn’t know everything I was going to say and there [were] moments where I started to get emotional so I pulled it back, [but] I had an idea of what I wanted to use that global platform to create if I got up there,” Chastain now told Net-a-Porter. “So many people after [the award ceremony] were coming up to me and they could see how genuinely surprised I was. I’m used to just putting my head down.”

Smith resigned from the Academy before they levied a 10-year ban against him.

“I have directly responded to the Academy’s disciplinary hearing notice, and I will fully accept any and all consequences for my conduct,” his statement read in part. “My actions at the 94th Academy Awards presentation were shocking, painful, and inexcusable. The list of those I have hurt is long and includes Chris, his family, many of my dear friends and loved ones, all those in attendance, and global audiences at home.I betrayed the trust of the Academy. I deprived other nominees and winners of their opportunity to celebrate and be celebrated for their extraordinary work. I am heartbroken. I want to put the focus back on those who deserve attention for their achievements and allow the Academy to get back to the incredible work it does to support creativity and artistry in film. So, I am resigning from membership in the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and will accept any further consequences the Board deems appropriate.  Change takes time and I am committed to doing the work to ensure that I never again allow violence to overtake reason.”


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