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Prince William said something that provoked a look of shock and excitement from 'The Bear' star Ayo Edebiri, and the internet is having a field day

From left: Prince William, Phoebe Dynevor, Ayo Edebiri, Sophie Wilde, and Mia McKenna-Bruce at the 2024 BAFTAs.
From left: Prince William, Phoebe Dynevor, Ayo Edebiri, Sophie Wilde, and Mia McKenna-Bruce at the 2024 BAFTAs.Jordan Pettitt - WPA Pool/Getty Images
  • Ayo Edebiri met Prince William at the BAFTAs, and a photo from the moment has gone viral.

  • The image shows the royal meeting Edebiri and other actors who were nominated for the rising star award.

  • Edebiri's shocked facial expression didn't go unnoticed by fans.

"The Bear" star Ayo Edebiri met Prince William, and the internet is having a field day trying to decipher her facial expression.

William, who is the president of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts, attended the BAFTAs on Sunday in London. After the awards show, William shook hands and greeted rising star award nominees Edebiri, Phoebe Dynevor, Sophie Wilde, and Mia McKenna-Bruce.

"Very nice to see you guys," William said, per video footage captured by Reuters. "Honestly, the category was so strong, all of you, it's like, who is going to pull this off? It's incredible."

Prince William, Phoebe Dynevor, Ayo Edebiri, Sophie Wilde, and Mia McKenna Bruce after the BAFTA ceremony on February 18, 2024.
Prince William, Phoebe Dynevor, Ayo Edebiri, Sophie Wilde, and Mia McKenna Bruce after the BAFTA ceremony.Jordan Pettitt/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

He then congratulated "How to Have Sex" star McKenna-Bruce on her win but admitted that he hadn't had a chance to watch the film yet.

"It looks like you had a lot of fun all the way through it," he told her.

"I've got a lot of films to catch up on," William continued, as Edebiri nodded and appeared to listen attentively. "Normally I get quite ahead of the award ceremony and I get to see quite a few of them. I haven't managed to get that many through, so now I've got a list."

Then, William stepped away to continue greeting the rest of the attendees.

Even though William's interaction with the nominees was brief and pleasant, one specific image of the enthusiastic royal gesturing toward McKenna-Bruce has gone viral. But Edebiri's facial expression has specifically captivated the internet.

"I am simply begging you all to look at this photo of Ayo Edebiri meeting Prince William at the #BAFTAs," said @Hopesloop on X (formerly known as Twitter).

"Ayo Edebiri, the woman that you are," @JarettSays wrote.

Many wondered if she was shocked, excited, "weirded TF out," or even horrified at the moment.

Naturally, there were lots of jokes about Edebiri being Irish and acting exactly as people from the country would in that situation.

The actor, writer, and comedian previously went viral for pretending she played the donkey from the drama film "The Banshees of Inisherin" during an interview with Letterboxd at the South by Southwest (SXSW) film festival. Since then, Edebiri has kept the running gag going by identifying as Irish and giving the country a shout-out during her awards show appearances.

Some people said that the stars looked "alarmed," "scared," "horrified," and "uncomfortable."

Based on the video footage, it doesn't appear that any of the actors appeared afraid or appalled. Still, that didn't stop fans from making assumptions and jokes about what was happening.

"probably the reaction when he told them he had not seen several films, especially Barbie," wrote @catedunlap.

"They were stunned by his royal aura," said @EthereaLatina.

Prince William, Phoebe Dynevor, Ayo Edebiri, Sophie Wilde, and Mia McKenna Bruce after the BAFTA ceremony on February 18, 2024.
Prince William, Phoebe Dynevor, Ayo Edebiri, Sophie Wilde, and Mia McKenna Bruce after the BAFTA ceremony.Jordan Pettitt/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Edebiri's career has taken off thanks to her role as a chef named Sydney Adamu on the series "The Bear," which will return for a third season this June. She recently won an Emmy, Golden Globe, and Critics Choice Award for her performance on the show.

Edebiri's popularity also extends to her internet presence.

More recently, Edebiri's comments from a 2020 podcast appearance, in which she called Jennifer Lopez's career "one long scam," resurfaced. The writer and comedian addressed the remarks days later on an episode of "Saturday Night Live" that she hosted and Lopez performed on as the musical guest.

Representatives for Edebiri didn't immediately respond to a request for comment from Business Insider.

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