Lupita Nyong’o wasn’t surprised she became a meme earlier this year in connection with the exhausting coverage surrounding The Slap. In fact, as the Oscar-winning actress revealed in a new interview, she “knew as soon as it was over” that widespread memory would indeed be taking place.
Speaking with Rebecca Keegan for the Hollywood Reporter, Nyong’o—who will next be seen in Black Panther: Wakanda Forever—reflected on the meme-spurring moment with the benefit of hindsight.
“Once the moment was over, I realized, ‘Oh my God, there’s no way all this transpired and I’m not in the shot,’” Nyong’o said in the cover story feature, published Wednesday. “I knew as soon as it was over that I was going to be a meme.”
As for whether Nyong’o has any interest in speaking further on the moment itself, which saw Will Smith slap Chris Rock following a joke about Jada Pinkett Smith, that does not appear to be the case.
“I don’t want to add any more fuel to that thing, quite frankly,” she said.
For the full THR interview, which also sees Nyong’o (as well as Black Panther director Ryan Coogler) opening up about the untimely death of friend and collaborator Chadwick Boseman, hit this link.
As for The Slap, Smith spoke at length about the incident for the first time by way of a YouTube upload back in July. In the video, Smith apologized to Rock, as well as to the comedian’s family.
“Disappointing people is my central trauma,” Smith, who was controversially banned from Academy-related events for 10 years, said at the time. “I hate when I let people down, so it hurts, it hurts me psychologically and emotionally to know I didn’t live up to people’s image and impression of me, and the work I’m trying to do is, I am deeply remorseful and I’m trying to be remorseful without being ashamed of myself.”