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Nicole Kidman's viral Oscars reaction wasn't in response to Will Smith's slap

The photo of Kidman's shocked face was taken hours before Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage.
Image: Nicole Kidman, Best of the 94th Annual Academy Awards
Nicole Kidman reacts at the Academy Awards in Los Angeles on Sunday.Robyn Beck / AFP - Getty Images

The viral photo of Nicole Kidman's shocked expression at the Oscars wasn't taken when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock onstage — it was actually taken hours before, when she saw Jessica Chastain.

Los Angeles Times photographer Myung Chun told Vulture that he snapped the photo, which was posted to Getty Images, hours before the slap occurred.

Some Twitter users used the image, which began circulating on Twitter before the broadcast even started, to react to the confrontation between Smith and Rock.

Others claimed that the photo showed Kidman reacting to the slap. In one viral post, a Twitter user responded to a tweet by Smith's son Jaden about the situation with “Nicole Kidman felt the vibe.”

In reality, Chun told Vulture, Kidman appeared to be “excited to see Jessica Chastain across the room.”

“Kidman then reached out her arms and waved to her with both hands. ... Shortly thereafter, Chastain walked over to greet Kidman and her husband Keith Urban,” he said.

Chun did not immediately respond to an interview request.

Smith, who went on to win his first Oscar for best actor later in the night, hit Rock after he made a joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. Smith tried to justify his actions in his acceptance speech. He apologized to his fellow nominees and to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, but he did not address Rock. 

The academy condemned Smith in a statement Monday, saying it is reviewing the matter.

Smith formally apologized to Rock on Monday afternoon, saying in a statement that he was “out of line” and “embarrassed.”

“Violence in all of its forms is poisonous and destructive,” he said in a message posted Monday night on Instagram. “My behavior at last night’s Academy Awards was unacceptable and inexcusable.”