The internet has a new villain, and it’s not Jake Gyllenhaal. Following the Jan. 13 release of Miley Cyrus’ single “Flowers,” fans have started reassessing their opinion on Liam Hemsworth — and one viral video, in particular, has captured their attention. In April 2019, Cyrus and Hemsworth attended the premiere for the movie Avengers: Endgame. While walking the carpet, Cyrus pretended to lick Hemsworth in front of photographers. Although you can’t hear Hemsworth’s exact response in the video, it certainly looks like he asks her, “Could you behave for once?” There’s no way to know for sure what he said, but Cyrus and Hemsworth’s body language does underscore the tense moment.
Body language expert Patti Wood, author of SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma, explains the viral moment to Elite Daily: “His body language hinted at embarrassment and admonishment of her, and his response really upset her.”
Below, Wood analyzes the viral video in full — from Cyrus’ lick to Hemsworth walking away — and it turns out, the internet wasn’t wrong for pinpointing this moment as a serious red flag. Even if Hemsworth didn’t ask Cyrus to behave, his body language speaks for itself.
When Cyrus licks Hemsworth, it’s an “over-the-top, dramatic” gesture, Wood says. “She bends her head down to his mid-chest and opens her mouth and sticks the tongue all the way out. It’s highly sexualized and unusual,” she explains. Typically, when stars go for steamier poses on the red carpet, they kiss each others’ mouths, not lick each others’ chests.
At first, Hemsworth seems more surprised than anything. “When she does it, his mouth opens in shock,” Wood explains. But when Cyrus turns around and poses for the cameras, Hemsworth’s “mouth changes from a smile, turning down at the corners and his eyes go small.” The slight change suggests discomfort and annoyance on Hemsworth’s part.
Though it isn’t clear what he says to her, whatever it is “upsets” Cyrus. “She takes the side of her body and bumps aggressively up against him as if to admonish him. She’s saying, ‘Don’t tell me what to do,’” Wood guesses.
She also points out how Cyrus stops smiling. “Her mouth scrunches up into a mixture of playful anger and defiance,” Wood says.
However, per Wood, the most dramatic moment isn’t this potentially awkward exchange. It’s actually when Hemsworth walks away. When Cyrus brings up her arms to pose, Hemsworth fully turns and walks several feet away from her. “His body language is saying ‘I don’t want any part of this,’” Wood explains.
After Hemsworth walks away, fans noticed it looks like Cyrus says to him, “This is me.” Of course, lip reading isn’t always accurate, but considering the couple’s body language here, that response would make a lot of sense.
Patti Wood, body langugae expert and author of SNAP: Making the Most of First Impressions, Body Language, and Charisma,