Oscar Trivia (and LOTS of it!)

Oscar Trivia (and LOTS of it!)


• 3 Best Picture nominees had passed the $100 million mark at the time of their nomination. (Four had done so last year, though six eventually hit the mark.)

• 6 of the Best Picture nominees are based on true stories: “American Hustle,” “Captain Phillips,” “Dallas Buyers Club,” “Philomena,” “12 Years a Slave,” “The Wolf of Wall Street.”

• 7 past acting winners were nominated this year: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Sandra Bullock, Judi Dench, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Lawrence, Julia Roberts.

• 23 is the age of Jennifer Lawrence, the youngest person ever to receive three acting nominations.

• 49 nominations is the record for any living person: composer John Williams.

• $72 million is the average gross of the 2013 Best Picture nominees at the time of nomination.

• 203 different people received Oscar nominations this year, including nine double nominees and two triple nominees.

• 3 people have declined an Oscar: screenwriter Dudley Nichols and actors George C. Scott and Marlon Brando.

• 5 ceremonies have not had any hosts: 11th, 41st, 42nd, 43rd and 61st.

• 7 years have passed since Ellen DeGeneres first hosted.

• 9 ceremonies have been hosted by Billy Crystal.

• 19 is the record number of times Bob Hope hosted the Oscars.

• 3 times the Oscars has been postponed: 1938 due to flooding, 1968 for the funeral of Martin Luther King Jr.; 1981 after the assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan.

• 17 women have hosted or co-hosted the Oscars.

• 55 men have hosted or co-hosted.

• 24 Oscar ceremonies haven’t been televised.

• 1953 is the first year the Oscars was broadcast on television.

• 1966 is the first year the show was broadcast in color.

• 6 science-fiction films have been nominated for Best Picture, but none have won: “A Clockwork Orange,” “Star Wars,” “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” “Avatar,” “District 9,” “Inception."


• Oscar statuettes are shipped in styrofoam containers.

• Once the statuettes are removed from the containers, the styrofoam is broken into pieces, so nobody can fish a makeshift Oscar mold out of the Dolby Theatre dumpster.

• The Academy makes sure that enough Oscar statuettes are on hand to cover the most possible winners in every category. (For instance, if Gravity or Nebraska wins, they’ll need two Oscars for the two producers — but if 12 Years a Slave wins, they’ll need five.)

• Until recently, the statuettes typically sat on a Rubbermaid cart in the wings of the stage. These days, they usually sit in a fancier enclosure.

• The statuettes are watched over by an Academy employee wearing white gloves. He wipes down each Oscar before handing it to the trophy presenter.

• When a winner receives an Oscar, the only fingerprints on the award should belong to the winner, the celebrity announcing the category and the trophy presenter (typically referred to as the “trophy girl,” though that’s not the official job title).

• No trophy presenter is ever asked to carry more than two Oscars at the same time. Additional presenters are enlisted in the case of more than two winners.

• Nameplates for all potential winners are prepared ahead of time. This year, that means 215 nameplates. The ones bearing the names of losers are destroyed.

• The winners’ nameplates are taken to a special station at the rear of the Governors Ball, where Oscar recipients can bring their statuettes to have their plates affixed.


• The Oscar red carpet is divided in half by a velvet rope.

• Nominees go to the left, where they can talk to the press, while other guests are asked to stay to the right.

• Guests who spend too much time watching the stars are sternly told to keep moving.

• The majority of the red carpet is laid over the westbound lanes of Hollywood Boulevard, which is closed down for several days around the Oscars. If the street has any potholes or rough spots, they are filled with sand before the carpet is laid.

• If there is any chance of rain in the days leading up to the Oscar show, a canopy is erected over the red carpet on the theory that it’s easier and faster to take down a canopy than to put one up.

• The final stretch of carpet runs through the Hollywood & Highland shopping center, past a number of storefronts. Oscar guests never see any of those storefronts, because red drapes are used to hide the shops from view. The drapes are hung from hidden curtain rods built into every storefront.

• Stores in the Hollywood & Highland Center are not permitted to open on the day of the Oscars.