The Oscars

Bill Nighy Brought A Sylvanian Bunny To The Oscars For The Sweetest Reason

“I wasn’t prepared to leave her unattended in a hotel room.”

by Sophie McEvoy
HOLLYWOOD, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 12: Bill Nighy attends the 95th Annual Academy Awards on March 12, 202...
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Lots of strange things happen on the red carpet, none more so than Bill Nighy’s plus one at the 2023 Academy Awards. The British legend baffled Twitter users when he whipped out a stained, grey Sylvanian Families rabbit from his pocket to show to the photographers. Many immediately thought of the Sylvanian drama meme, with some theorising that Nighy is secretly the one behind the famous @Sylvaniandrama TikTok account, while others chalked it down to his incredible “whimsy level.” But the Living actor has finally put the record straight, and revealed the extremely important reason for his surprising date to the Oscars.

In a statement to Metro, Nighy explained that he was in charge of looking after the precious rabbit for a special someone. “My granddaughter’s schedule intensified and I was charged with rabbit-sitting responsibilities,” he explained. “I wasn’t prepared to leave her unattended in a hotel room. The stakes were too high. Where I go, she goes.” But, judging by the red (ketchup?) stains on its head, it would seem the rabbit had already gotten up to some mischief. Luckily, Nighy was there to watch over the bunny for his granddaughter while simultaneously confusing the internet.

Unbelievably, the 2023 Oscars marked the first time that Nighy had been nominated for the coveted award. The British star was up for Best Actor following his role in the independent film Living, in which he played a 1950s London County Council bureaucrat faced with a terminal cancer diagnosis, starring alongside Sex Education’s Aimee Lou Wood. Despite having “no real expectation of winning,” Nighy was contemplating where to put the award if it were to land in his hands. “I think you’re supposed to put them in the bathroom, aren’t you?” he asked The Hollywood Reporter. “I mean, you can’t have them in the living room because it’s too ostentatious. Maybe you build a shrine and go and visit them now and again.”