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Jessica Chastain was praised by some at-home 2023 Oscars viewers Sunday night for wearing a mask at this year’s ceremony.
Masking while attending the 95th annual ceremony at the Dolby Theatre wasn’t required for this year’s attendees, but follows the actress’ decision earlier in awards season to wear a face covering amid work on Broadway’s A Doll’s House. Her mask, which was black and matched her custom Gucci gown and jewelry, was visible throughout various points in the telecast — including a bit where she took it off to address Oscars host Jimmy Kimmel.
Chastain was previously seen at the Golden Globes earlier this awards season donning a mask, the reasoning for which she explained during a red carpet interview. “I’m a little nervous about getting sick. But, I got my mask,” she said at the time. “You have to be so careful in the theater because I don’t want to let my cast down.”
The actress’ decision to mask is understandable beyond a personal health choice, as contracting COVID-19 could mean Chastain would have to miss a string of performances of the Jamie Lloyd-directed play, which recently opened and extended its limited run through June.
While Chastain’s mask may have been one of the only visible reminders during the telecast about the ongoing pandemic, which has production implications for Hollywood projects, Glenn Close’s absence served more subtly as another. The actress, who is one of the most nominated talents yet to earn an individual performance win in Oscar history, had to miss the 2023 ceremony and was replaced as a presenter after she tested positive for COVID-19.
Earlier this year, several actors, including Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson, Michelle Pfeiffer and Jamie Lee Curtis, bowed out of appearing either as nominees or presenters at this year’s Critics Choice Awards after contracting COVID-19. And for the 2022 Oscars ceremony, Lin-Manuel Miranda was not in attendance at the Los Angeles Dolby Theatre despite receiving a nomination after his wife tested positive for COVID-19.
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