Last night at the 2016 Golden Globe Awards, Leonardo DiCaprio won the Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture for his role in The Revenant (which also won for Best Motion Picture - Drama). Yet what received more attention in the short term was DiCaprio's reaction when Lady Gaga bumped into him on her way up to accept her award for Best Performance in a Miniseries or Television Film for her role in American Horror Story: Hotel.
This interaction is included as a portion of the video above and provides an excellent example of some fundamental - yet commonly misunderstood nonverbal signals (for almost everyone misinterpreted this facial expression on this occasion).
Sincere laughter and sincere smile on Leonardo DiCaprio.
Lady Gaga had yet to make contact with him.
DiCaprio's face displays a sincere smile giving way to (temporarily and simultaneous with) the rapid microexpression appearance of a "Mouth of Fear". Of course this is simple social fear.
Watching this portion of the video you will note that Leonardo makes an "Eyebrow Flash" with his eyelids still partially closed (as is required for a sincere smile).
Dicaprio's sincere smile is nearly gone from his face - as his mouth takes on more of a fear component - albeit mild.
Why is Leonardo rubbing/scratching near his right eye/nose?
Conclusion: DiCaprio's explanation of, "I just didn't know what was passing me, that's all, I was like, 'Ooooh!' " - is an honest (subjective) account. From a body language analysis we can say more specifically (and objectively) that Leo had a momentary social fear response followed by an embarrassment-disbelief-emotional processing response.
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