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Ashley Graham leans on ‘kindness’ after awkward Oscars chat with Hugh Grant goes viral

A woman with a braided bun in a black gown smiles.
Ashley Graham interviewed Hugh Grant at the 2023 Oscars red carpet.
( Jordan Strauss / Invision / Associated Press)
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Ashley Graham isn’t letting her awkward interview with Hugh Grant on the red carpet at Sunday’s Oscars get the best of her.

The model and television personality spoke to TMZ at Los Angeles International Airport Monday afternoon about the viral moment and how she’s coping with the criticism.

“You know what, my mom has told me to kill them with kindness, so there you go,” Graham said. She also told TMZ that she “had so much fun” despite the exchange.

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Sunday’s awards show had its share of memorable moments, but the “Love Actually” actor’s pre-show chat with Graham made the internet rounds Sunday and split viewers.

“Hugh Grant steps forward to be interviewed at the Oscars, then gives most awkward, painful interview ever,” tweeted former NBCUniversal executive Mike Sington. “Kudos to Ashley Graham for trying to get him to talk and being a pro.”

Before the ceremony, Grant stopped by Graham’s spot on the red carpet, where she asked him about his “favorite thing about coming to the Oscars.”

“Ugh, it’s fascinating. The whole of humanity’s here. It’s ‘Vanity Fair,’” Grant responded, chuckling and raising his eyebrows.

Grant appeared to be making a literary reference to the allegorical Vanity Fair of sinful frivolity, but this seemed to be lost on Graham.

“Oh, it’s all about Vanity Fair. That’s where we let loose and have a little of fun,” she said, referring to the A-list after-party.

Actor Hugh Gramt in a tuxedo standing next to a woman in a sheer black dress
Hugh Grant and wife Anna Eberstein at Sunday’s Oscars ceremony at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.
(Ashley Landis / Invision / Associated Press)

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As the interview went on, Grant and Graham struggled to connect, with the former sharing blunt responses. Was he rooting for anyone? “No one in particular.” Who made his tuxedo? “Um, I can’t remember. My tailor.”

“You don’t have to be that much of a d—, Hugh Grant. I mean you really just don’t,” tweeted writer Rebecca Carroll.

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“If you don’t want to be interviewed, don’t take the mic, smile politely and keep walking,” wrote #OscarsSoWhite creator April Reign. “Kudos to @ashleygraham for trying repeatedly to get something interesting out of him.”

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As if the previous exchanges weren’t cringe-worthy enough, the exchange concluded with Graham asking Grant about his brief appearance in Rian Johnson‘s “Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery.”

“Well I’m barely in it. I’m in it for about three seconds,” he said.

After Sunday’s ceremony, Graham got plenty of support from social media users who praised her for keeping her cool.

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“You handled that Hugh Grant interview like a pro,” one follower commented on her Instagram post.

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“You did a great job not letting someone bring you down during [an] interview...,” said another follower.

Some online critics weren’t as supportive, writing that Graham has “got to do your homework.” Filmmaker Jared Christopher tweeted that Grant had “the greatest Red Carpet interview of all time.”

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On Graham’s post, an Instagram user dismissed Grant’s supposed attitude as him “being a funny, sarcastic Brit.”

“There’s a huge difference. It was actually refreshing to hear someone reply authentically and relaxed instead of fake and pretentious like many others,” Instagram user Angel Carra wrote.

See more reactions to that red-carpet exchange below:

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