Samuel L. Jackson‘s unimpressed reaction to losing at the 76th Annual Tony Awards has become an internet sensation.
The 74-year-old actor, nominated for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Play for his role in The Piano Lesson, directed by his wife LaTanya Richardson, appeared indifferent when Brandon Uranowitz won the award on Sunday night.
As the winner was announced, Jackson’s facial expression remained unchanged, conveying his lack of enthusiasm as he sat in his seat. Eventually, he joined his fellow nominees in applause but with a noticeable pause.
Social media users quickly seized on Jackson’s nonplussed expression, creating a flurry of humorous tweets. One person wrote, “Samuel L. Jackson’s face just killed me. He looks like he knew he wasn’t getting that Tony.” Another speculated, “Wow, Samuel L. Jackson really didn’t want to be at the Tonys.”
Many fans took to Twitter to express their belief that Jackson should have won the Tony Award, with one tweet suggesting, “Imagine pretending to think that Brandon Uranowitz did a better job acting in ANY role than Samuel L. Jackson in an August DAMN Wilson play! Well, the Tony Awards did just that.” Others simply found amusement in Jackson’s unimpressed look, jokingly exclaiming, “Oh my god, Samuel L. Jackson’s face.”
This nomination marked Jackson’s first Tony nomination, and he celebrated the career milestone by walking the red carpet with his wife LaTanya Richardson, who directed him in The Piano Lesson. Later in the show, the couple presented the award for Best Play, with Jackson playfully referring to himself as “Samuel L. ‘it’s an honor to be nominated’ Jackson.”
As for Uranowitz, the 36-year-old had been previously nominated for three Tonys before winning this year for his performance in “Leopoldstadt.” Other nominees in their category included Arian Moayed for “A Doll’s House,” Jordan Cooper for “Ain’t No Mo’,” and David Zayas for “Cost of Living.”