Nicole Kidman Becomes a Meme: Here's the Story Behind Her Shocked Expression at 2022 Oscars

Fans mistakenly thought the 54-year-old actress was reacting to Will Smith slapping Chris Rock during the live ceremony.

Nicole Kidman became an instant meme after a photo of her looking absolutely shocked at the 94th annual Academy Awards on Sunday went viral.

Some fans were convinced that the moment was captured when Will Smith ran up onstage and slapped comedian Chris Rock across the face after he made a joke about his wife, Jada Pinkett Smith -- but here's the real truth behind this photo.

The image was actually taken before the awards show even began, and photographer, Myung Chun of the Los Angeles Times, who snapped the pic, told Vulture that Kidman was reacting to seeing Jessica Chastain.

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

ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

The reaction quickly became meme-worthy. Here's a look at some fans' reactions to her reaction. 

This isn't the first time Kidman has gone viral at the Oscars. In 2017, fans quickly called out how she was clapping at the ceremony. 

“It was really awkward," she admitted of her clapping while on Australia's Kyle and Jackie O radio show. "I was like, 'I wanna clap, I don’t wanna not be clapping.' That’d be worse, right? Like, 'Why isn’t Nicole clapping?'"

Kidman attended the 2022 Oscars after being nominated for her role as Lucille Ball in Being the Ricardos. She ultimately lost out to Jessica Chastain, but had nothing but praise for her fellow nominees prior to the show. 

"These women, and their performances!" she told ET on the red carpet. "And also just to be here. I think we all know what it takes to do this work and so it's just like, you're invited to the ball and you go, 'Thank you. Thanks for having me.'"

For more coverage of the 2022 Oscars, keeping checking back with ETonline.