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Burning Questions

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Why was Jack Nicholson bald? And, by the way, how does he score those front row seats when he’s not nominated?

Don’t worry: It wasn’t an homage to Britney Spears, and he’s in fine health. He’s currently shooting The Bucket List, in which he plays a terminally ill cancer patient.

Nicholson is a 12-time nominee (and three-time winner). And he was in The Departed. But let’s face it: He’s Jack. He gets the front row “because he’s such a good audience,” says Oscar producer Laura Ziskin, who helps determines the seating.

Who was Abigail Breslin’s date for the big night?

Little Miss Sunshine actually had two Oscar dates. One was her mom, Kim. The other was her “good luck charm” Curious George. Abigail, 10, took the doll to the Screen Actors Guild Awards on Jan. 28 and brought it to the Oscars, where her mother sometimes carried the monkey on the red carpet. Earlier, though, Abigail had a different resting place for George: a complimentary tote bag from a hair salon. “For now, I will just keep Curious George there,” Abigail said.

What did Leonardo DiCaprio mean when he said the Academy Awards had gone green?

It wasn’t that the Best Documentary Feature Award went to An Inconvenient Truth or that Al Gore scored as much camera time as Martin Scorsese. The production made several environmentally friendly moves. Among them, according to the National Resources Defense Council: All the presenters had access to hybrid cars; the ballots and invitations were printed on partially recycled paper; the bottled water used cornstarch-based plastic; and Wolfgang Puck’s giant Oscar at the Governors Ball (inset) was made from, yum, organic chocolate.

Did Clint Eastwood translate for Honorary Oscar winner Ennio Morricone via TelePrompTer?

Eastwood, the Man With No Name in the Italian-shot “spaghetti Westerns” that Morricone famously scored, didn’t need no stinkin’ TelePrompTers. “He is fluent in Italian,” says Ziskin. “We didn’t know that, so we wrote a translation. But when Eastwood came to rehearsal he said, ‘No, I speak Italian.'”

Jodie Foster got upset mentioning the death of Randy Stone. Who was he?

Stone, a 20th Century Fox Television exec, once called Foster “my best friend.” The two (pictured above at the 1994 Oscars) became close when he produced Foster’s 1991 directorial debut, Little Man Tate. Stone died of heart failure at age 48 on Feb. 12.