Kidman, a Best Supporting Actress nominee at the 2017 Oscars, got some serious grief after viewers noticed her applauding in an unconventional manner at last month's awards show. The Big Little Lies star had her fingers fanned out as she clapped, which invited comparisons to a seal and memes like this:
Had she just painted her nails? Was she injured? Did she just never not learn how to clap? We finally have our answer.
The 49-year-old star addressed her clapping controversy in a radio interview with KIIS FM's Kyle and Jackie O in her native Australia.
Co-host Kyle first shared his theory.
“Can you clarify seal hands at the Oscars?" he asked. "I told everyone you were clapping like that because you had the rings on. and you didn't want to damage the rings. Is that right? That makes sense to me."
Turns out he's right. Kidman was wearing a 13.58-carat pearl-shaped diamond ring set from jeweler Harry Winston, and was taking pains to avoid smacking it.
"Yes, yes! I’m so glad you clarified that because it was really awkward!" she responded to Kyle. "I was like, ‘Gosh, I really want to clap.’
“I don’t want to not be clapping, which would be worse, right? 'Why isn’t Nicole clapping?’ So therefore I’m clapping but it was really difficult because I had this huge ring on, which was not my own but was absolutely gorgeous and I was terrified of damaging it!”
She seemed to be a good sport about it all, but was surprised that her clapping got so much attention.
"It's like, [are] there not more important things to be focused on than the seal clap?" she joked.
She's got a point. Listen to her side of the story in the video clip below.