Jessica Chastain is explaining the backstory behind that viral red carpet moment between her and Oscar Isaac at Venice Film Festival.
Fans lost it Saturday when Chastain and Oscar revealed on the red carpet exactly why they were cast as a couple in HBO’s new Ingmar Bergman adaptation, “Scenes From a Marriage,” which premiered at the fest. Chastain, wearing a sparkling red gown, and Isaac, in a classic black tux, gazed into each other’s eyes, embraced and later shared an eyebrow-raising kiss.
But things really took off when Isaac smooched the inside of Chastain’s arm, an intimate moment captured in a sexy, slow-motion clip that’s owning social media.
When asked about their chemistry during the “Today” show Wednesday, Chastain started by shutting down any relationship speculation.
“We’re acting, but also Oscar and I have been friends. We went to college together, so we’ve been friends more than half of our lives,” she said. “We know so much about each other. We know how to make each other laugh.”
Chastain, 44, and Isaac, 42, who are both married and have children, have been friends since they were students at the Juilliard School in Manhattan.
Though the viral clip may have looked “super sexy” because it was in slow-motion, she revealed that it was actually “really funny.”
“When you look at it in regular speed, I’m looking straight ahead and he looks over at me and he just kind of goes to give me a peck on my elbow, and at the same time, I’m going to give him a hug,” she said.
“So all of a sudden, his face ends up in my armpit. He made a joke out of it. Look, he’s smiling there!” she said, while looking back at footage. “All the photographers started laughing and were like, ‘What just happened?’ “
One day earlier, Chastain playfully responded to the internet’s fixation on the moment by tweeting a black-and-white image of Gomez and Morticia Addams similarly engaged.
“Sept 12th,” she wrote, the date “Scenes From a Marriage” debuts on HBO and HBO Max, adding a purple emoji with horns, signifying trouble. Isaac voiced Gomez opposite Charlene Theron’s Morticia in the 2019 animated “Addams Family” movie.
Venice Film Festival 2021: See Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac, more on the red carpet
“We were all blessed to learn no one will ever look at us the way oscar isaac looks at jessica chastain,” AJ+ journalist Sana Saeed wrote.
“Interesting choice to award the golden lion to that slow mo getty images clip of oscar isaac kissing jessica chastain’s arm but i respect it,” Little White Lies editor Hannah Strong tweeted.
“I’ll never not be bitter we aren’t getting a live action addams family starring oscar isaac and jessica chastain,” Kay Taylor Rea wrote.
Were fans punked? Like Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga’s teasing appearances before “A Star Is Born” (which culminated in a famous side-by-side performance of “Shallow” on the Oscars), the two made a convincing case.
If they were, there were no complaints.
“I dig the ppl policing the Isaac-Chastain clip like ‘look, this is staged,’ “ wrote Film Intuition critics Jen Johans. “Absolutely, yes, but guess what? You can’t fake chemistry & if you’re unresponsive to sensuality, heat, or flirtation, maybe don’t advertise that.”
“OSCAR ISAAC AND JESSICA CHASTAIN CUTEST BESTIES ON THE RED CARPET IT’S TRUE,” tweeted “above average oscar Isaac enjoyer” @filmsbyanya.
The longtime pals previously played a couple in the 2014 film “A Most Violent Year.”
“I can’t remember the first time we met. It wasn’t like this magic moment of, ‘Who is that man?’ ” Chastain told USA TODAY during an interview with Isaac, but she recalled, “I have a video, in some storage unit somewhere, of he and I sitting on this bench and talking to each other. I had a huge flower in my hair and black lipstick on.”
She spoke of how their friendship fueled their casting.
“You have a group of people you want to work with, whom you love,” Chastain said. “You have a history, you don’t have to get to know each other, you can say what you want.”
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Jessica Chastain responds to Oscar Isaac kiss at Venice Film Festival