Jessica Chastain Recalls Giving Oscars Speech Moments After Will Smith-Chris Rock Slap

Jessica Chastain discussed the “charged energy” in the room as she delivered her Oscars Best Actress acceptance speech for The Eyes of Tammy Faye. See what she had to say about the night below.

By Daisy Maldonado Jun 27, 2022 8:55 PMTags
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The events of the 2022 Oscars left many people on edge, including Jessica Chastain.

Just moments after Will Smith slapped Chris Rock, Chastain was up on stage at the Dolby theater, accepting her trophy for Best Actress in a Leading Role

"Well…," Chastain recently recalled to Porter, "it was a weird night."

Despite the altercation maximizing the conversation, Chastain is still proud she took the moment to make an impactful speech that shined a light on suicide awareness.

"I walked into a very charged energy in that room," the Eyes of Tammy Faye star recounted, "and I was trying to figure out…how to just breathe and create a calmness."

During her Oscars night speech, Chastain touched upon suicide being the leading cause of death in the United States and how it disproportionately affects the LGBTQ+ community. The actress, whose sister Juilet died by suicide at the age of 24 in 2003, also referenced how it affected her own family when she was on stage.

Looking back at the moment, Chastain said, "I knew I wanted to touch on that because, with everything that was going on, it was clear that we were moving into an area in our politics of intolerance and discrimination."

"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," she continued, "but I had an idea of what I wanted to use that global platform to create if I got up there."

Jessica Chastain in The Eyes of Tammy Faye

Chastain has been an advocate for suicide prevention for years. In 2014, Chastain said her sister's death "completely changed the person I am" and made her understand what matters most in life.


Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

She explained in an interview with InStyle, "A movie, Oscars, a dress, if someone thinks I'm stupid… I realized nothing is that important."