Jessica Chastain reflects on her Oscars win following Will Smith and Chris Rocks altercation

Jessica Chastain has shared what it was like to accept her first Academy Award shortly after Will Smith and Chris Rock got into an altercation.

During the Oscars 2022 ceremony, Rock took to the stage to announce the recipient of the Best Documentary Feature gong. Before he read out the nominees, he used the opportunity to make a few jokes about the A-listers in attendance.

One gag about Smith’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith angered the King Richard actor, who yelled at Rock from his seat, before climbing up on stage and slapping the comedian across the face. Shortly after that, Chastain bagged the Best Actress prize for her performance in The Eyes of Tammy Faye.

In a new interview with Porter (opens in new tab), Chastain was asked about the event and her speech, where she indirectly called out Florida’s ‘Don’t Say Gay’ bill. In response, she explained that she was mostly just trying to keep the peace in what was otherwise a pretty tension-filled evening.

“Well… It was a weird night,” she said. “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.”

Before being struck by Smith, Rock had teasingly suggested that he’d love to see Pinkett Smith rock up in a sequel to G. I. Jane, the 1997 action flick that sees Demi Moore play a buzzcut-sporting Navy SEAL. Everybody quickly deduced that this was a reference to the Gotham star’s signature shaved head, a style she has previously explained she has adopted due to having alopecia.

Rock declined to press charges, and in the week that followed, Smith apologized for the incident before he resigned from the Academy. Later, the organisation issued him with a 10-year ban.

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