Oscar Trivia: What You Don't Know About Hollywood's Big Night
Surprising facts about host Billy Crystal and nominees Woody Allen, Rooney Mara, George Clooney and more!
Pop quiz: What annual awards show airs this Sunday night? If you’re as into the Oscars as we are, you likely just yawned and said, “Easiest. Question. Ever.” And you’d be right.
Now, let’s try a few more challenging questions. Which of the current crop of Best Actress hopefuls honeymooned at George Clooney‘s Italian villa? The Help‘s Jessica Chastain earned a scholarship to Julliard funded by which Oscar-winning comedian? War Horse composer John Williams’s son sang for which classic rock band?
If you answered any of these brain-teasers right (the correct responses are Viola Davis, Robin Williams and Toto, respectively), congratulations – you’re sure to dominate PEOPLE’S Red Carpet Trivia Live, the yearly online game you play while you watch the Oscars.
Throughout the night, as presenters and nominees appear on your TV, we’ll be rolling out hundreds of pop-culture trivia questions and factoids right here on PEOPLE.com. Amuse yourself during the boring parts! Learn interesting tidbits about your favorite stars! Deliver an epic trivia smack-down to your friends!
To get you even more excited about the game and the 84th Academy Awards, here are five things you may not know about Hollywood’s biggest night:
1. Billy Crystal keeps a toothbrush in his pocket
The 63-year-old comedian, who will be hosting his ninth Academy Awards ceremony, isn’t a hygiene freak. He carries the toothbrush as a tradition dating back to his childhood, when he’d improvise pretend Oscar speeches for his family using his toothbrush as a microphone.
2. Three Best Actor hopefuls appeared on Friends
Yes, 60 percent of this year’s Best Actor nominees turned up in guest roles on Friends. Clooney, whose 1996 appearance came during his fame-making stint on NBC’s E.R., and Brad Pitt, whose 2001 episode aired while he was still married to Jennifer Aniston, make obvious sense. But Gary Oldman? His spot as a pompous actor with messy enunciation re-teamed him with Matt LeBlanc, his costar in 1998’s Lost in Space.
3. The Oscar venue doesn’t technically have a name
ABC will be presenting the Oscars live from the Hollywood & Highland Center, but that’s the name of the mall where the venue is located, not the theater itself. So, what gives? After Kodak declared bankruptcy in January, the company gave up its naming rights of the Hollywood theater, which has hosted the Oscars since 2002. The venue’s owner hasn’t yet found a new corporate sponsor, but Kodak will still have a presence at the ceremony regardless: seven of this year’s nine Best Picture nominees were shot using its film stock.
4. Woody Allen will be a no-show
The New York centric director has amassed a whopping 23 nominations and three wins in his prolific career, but not because he glad-hands at the Academy Awards. Allen, whose original screenplay for Best Picture nominee Midnight in Paris is considered the front-runner, has attended the annual event just one time – in 2002, a rare year when he wasn’t nominated.
5. Rooney Mara is a football royalty
The youngest of this year’s Best Actress nominees might not be a huge football fan herself, but her name reveals her ties to the sport. Rooney is a tribute to her maternal great-grandfather Art Rooney Sr., the founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers; she is also the great-granddaughter of New York Giants founder Tim Mara. Not surprisingly, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo star was in Indianapolis to see the Giants win the Super Bowl earlier this month, although her father, Giants senior vice president Chris Mara, knows the Oscars are a much bigger deal for her. “This is her Super Bowl,” he said.
The 84th annual Academy Awards will air live Sunday, Feb. 26, at 8:30 p.m. ET (5:30 p.m. PT) on ABC from the Hollywood venue formerly known as the Kodak Theatre