How Halle Berry and Jessica Chastain Replaced Will Smith for This Oscars 2023 Moment After 10-Year Ban

With Will Smith banned from the 2023 Oscars, Halle Berry and Jessica Chastain stepped into a role usually reserved for last year's Best Actor Oscar winner: presenting the Best Actress trophy.

By Lindsay Weinberg Mar 13, 2023 3:48 AMTags
Watch: Academy Adds Oscars "Crisis Team" After Will Smith Slap

Halle Berry and Jessica Chastain are subbing in for Will Smith at the 2023 Oscars.

The 2002 and 2022 Best Actress winners, respectively, fulfilled one important duty that Smith likely would've been responsible for at this year's show—had he not received a 10-year ban from Academy events for slapping Chris Rock during the 2022 ceremony.

It's an Oscars tradition that the reigning Best Actor winner usually presents the Best Actress trophy at the next year's show. But since Smith—who took home the trophy in 2022 for King Richard—was forbidden to attend, the award show producers tapped Berry and Chastain to hand out the prize. 

The duo stepped onto the stage to read the envelope and announce the Best Actress winner at the glitzy event at the Dolby Theatre on March 12. The nominees were Cate Blanchett (Tár), Ana de Armas (Blonde), Andrea Riseborough (To Leslie), Michelle Williams (The Fabelmans) and Michelle Yeoh (Everything Everywhere All at Once), who took home the trophy. See all the 2023 Oscars winners here.

Celebrities React to Will Smith Slapping Chris Rock at Oscars

Smith sparked controversy during the 2022 Oscars after he took the stage and slapped Rock in a now-infamous altercation after the comedian's joke about Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, and her hair loss. Moments later, Smith took home the Best Actor trophy and noted in his speech, "I want to apologize to the Academy, I want to apologize to all my fellow nominees."

Rich Polk/Variety via Getty Images

The following month, the Academy announced that Smith would be barred from attending the show for the next decade.

"During our telecast, we did not adequately address the situation in the room. For this, we are sorry," Academy President David Rubin and CEO Dawn Hudson shared in a statement last year. "This was an opportunity for us to set an example for our guests, viewers and our Academy family around the world, and we fell short—unprepared for the unprecedented."

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

They said the ban was a "step toward a larger goal of protecting the safety of our performers and guests, and restoring trust in the Academy." (This year, the Academy put together a "crisis team" to help navigate future shows.) 

Smith said at the time that he "accepts and respect the Academy's decision."

Chelsea Lauren/Shutterstock

As for Rock, he recently shared more of his thoughts on the debacle, explaining in his Netflix special Chris Rock: Selective Outrage why he didn't have a greater reaction on stage that night.

"A lot of people like, ‘How come you didn't do nothing back that night?'" he said on the show, released March 4. "Cause I got parents. Cause I was raised. You know what my parents taught me? Don't fight in front of white people."

To see more stars step out at the 2023 Oscars, keep reading...

Cara Delevingne

In Elie Saab Couture with Bulgari jewelry

Angela Bassett

In Moschino

Salma Hayek

In Gucci

Mindy Kaling

In Vera Wang

Jamie Lee Curtis

In Dolce & Gabbana


In Alaïa with Moussaieff jewelry 

Lady Gaga

In Versace with Tiffany & Co. jewelry 

Melissa McCarthy

In Christian Siriano

Cate Blanchett

In Louis Vuitton

Elizabeth Banks

In Vivienne Westwood with Pomellato jewelry 

Rooney Mara

In Alexander McQueen with Fred Leighton jewelry 

Kate Hudson

In Louis Vuitton

Janelle Monáe

In Vera Wang with REZA jewelry

Emily Blunt

In Valentino with Chopard jewelry 

Michelle Williams

In Chanel Couture with Tiffany & Co. jewelry

Michael B. Jordan

In Louis Vuitton with Tiffany & Co. jewelry 

Andrew Garfield

In Fendi with David Yurman and OMEGA jewelry

Halle Berry

In Tamara Ralph with Pomellato jewelry 

Michelle Yeoh

In Christian Dior Couture with Moussaieff jewelry 

Ke Huy Quan

In Giorgio Armani with OMEGA and Fred Leighton jewelry 

Nicole Kidman

In Armani Privé with OMEGA jewelry

Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson

In Dolce & Gabbana with Tag Heuer jewelry 

Samuel L. Jackson

Idris Elba

Sabrina Dhowre Elba

Brooks Nader

In LaQuan Smith

Jessica Chastain

In Gucci

Jessie Buckley

In Rodarte with Chopard jewelry 

Phoebe Waller-Bridge

In Dolce & Gabbana

Paul Mescal

In Gucci

View More Photos From Oscars 2023: Red Carpet Fashion

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