The Oscars

Oscars Producer Reveals Truth Behind *That* Andrew Garfield Meme

The actor's awkward smile was the viral moment of the night.

Andrew Garfield's awkward smile at the Oscars 2023

The 95th annual Academy Awards were a plentiful source of viral moments. Chief among them was Andrew Garfield’s grimacing face during host Jimmy Kimmel’s opening monologue, which promptly received the memeification treatment on social media. Now, an Oscars producer has revealed the truth behind Garfield’s hilarious grin — and not all was as it seemed.

During the live broadcast on Sunday, March 12, Kimmel poked fun at last year’s Oscar's slap, joking that any potential stage invaders would have to “do battle” with the likes of Creed III’s Michael B Jordan, Mandalorian star Pedro Pascal, and Best Actress winner Michelle Yeoh before they could commit any acts of “violence.” However, when Kimmel quipped “you are gonna have to tangle with Spider-Man,” the camera cut to Garfield, who awkwardly smiled and shrugged his shoulders. Twitter was quick to grab the funny moment, with many viewers declaring it “the new meme.” “That Andrew Garfield face is the first meme of the Oscars,” one fan wrote, while another viewer joked: “100 out of 10 to Andrew Garfield's face.”

Speaking to Variety after the star-studded Hollywood ceremony, Academy Awards producer, Molly McNearney, revealed that the actors featured in Kimmel’s opening gag were briefed about their inclusion just “minutes before the show started.”

“You’re going to be on camera. Jimmy’s going to refer to you as part of his security team. If you could just show some kind of physical support or give him a fist bump,” the actors were told, and Garfield was specifically asked to “do a Spider-Man web-sling.” However, when the moment arrived, Garfield “made his own choice,” McNearney shared, adding that his hilarious live reaction was “even better” than their initial request.