The 76th annual Academy Awards may be history, but questions linger like sweat stains on Peter Jackson's tux. For instance, was Sandra Bullock really late to rehearsals? Who's Renee Zellweger's mysterious "beloved" and what is the Oscar winner's connection to Vincent D'Onofrio? Did ABC's censors have to utilize that five-second delay? And is Charlize Theron dating her lawyer? We'd also like to know what Marcia Gay Harden was hiding in that beehive 'do not of hers, but some things are best left up to the imagination. Everything else warrants an explanation.
Who is Renee Zellweger's "beloved" John Carrabino, and why does she keep bringing him along to these awards shows?
Often mistaken for Bob or Harvey Weinstein — and let's face it, the dude looks like he crawled out of their gene pool — Carrabino is, in fact, Zellweger's longtime manager. That said, these two need to get a room — or at least make out. All the sexual tension is driving us nuts.
Zells also singled out Law & Order: Criminal Intent's Vincent D'Onofrio "for teaching me how to work." When was that exactly?
As movie buffs no doubt recall, the pair played distant lovers in the 1996 drama The Whole Wide World. "The film didn't have a very high profile," points out TV Guide Online's own Maitland McDonagh, "but it got very solid reviews."
Why was presenter Jim Carrey's head shaved?
The actor-comic-contortonist went crome-domed for his role as Count Olaf in Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events, which is currently filming.
Did best actress champ Charlize Theron bring her attorney as her date? And if not, who was that handsome fella Oscar producers cut to when she thanked her "lawyer, Steve Warren?"
We can put an end to all the legal drama now: The weepy hunk in the white dinner jacket was actually Theron's actor-beau, Stuart Townsend — Peter Jackson's original Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings. He was replaced by Viggo Mortensen after Jackson realized he was too young for the part. Long story short, Sunday night had to suck for him.
Is Theron really bringing her Oscar home to South Africa "next week" as she said in her speech?
Yes. Monster just "opened in South Africa, so I am going to do some press over there for the film," she later said.
How did the Oscars do in the ratings?
Despite the snoozefest that was Sunday's telecast, ABC estimates that 43.5 million witnessed Rings' clean sweep — up 25 percent from last year's war-tinged ceremony. It was the most-watched Oscars in four years and the No. 1 entertainment program of the season.
How did the show's length compare to years past?
According to TV Guide statistician Nick Spagnoli, "from opening shot to final credit it was 3 hours and 45 minutes." Adds fellow researcher Ethan Alter: "That's a little longer than last year, but just about normal" for Oscar.
While presenting the Sound Mixing and Sound Effects Editing categories with Sandra Bullock, John Travolta quipped that the Speed star was late to rehearsals. True?
"Yes, she was," confirms an Academy rep, who adds that the practice schedule had to be "adjusted" to make room for Miss Belatedly.
Did ABC have to utilize its Boobygate-inspired five-second delay to block out any racy content?
"No," says a network rep. Still, rumors persist that censors considered blurring Uma Thurman's horrid Swiss Miss-meets-Geisha Girl getup.
Best supporting actor winner Tim Robbins gave a shout-out to "the Geiss family" while at the dais, adding that, "Your dad's smiling down on you." Who's this mysterious clan?
"They are friends of mine who lost their dad," Robbins explained backstage.
Speaking of Robbins, why did the political activist (and noted Dubya hater) refrain from slamming our commander-in-chief, opting instead to use his time on-stage to encourage victims of abuse to get help? Has he suddenly gone soft on us?
Not likely. "I actually didn't even know what I was going to say when I went up there," he says. "And [the abuse bit] just occurred to me at that moment." Rest assured, Mr. Susan Sarandon would not think twice about pulling a Michael Moore at a future awards show. "If you're going to live in a free society... sometimes what other people say is going to make you uncomfortable. That's part of what it is to live in a free society."
While introducing a clip for Lost in Translation, lead actor nominee Bill Murray joked that he wanted director Sofia Coppola removed from the pic four days into filming. They say all truth is said in jest...
... and they would be right. Backstage, Coppola all but confirmed that she and Murray did not hit it off at the start. "I think the first few days just, you know, he was jet-lagged, and we were trying to figure out how to work with a crew in Japan," she says. "We don't speak the language, and they work differently. There's just cultural differences, and the first couple days were kind of rough and confusing for us. But then we figured it out and had a good time." Lucy Liu couldn't have said it better herself.
Did Michael Ausiello really win TV Guide's annual Oscar pool? And if so, what was his take-home?
Yes, Ausiello was crowned Oscar-pool king by correctly calling 21 of the 24 categories. He walks away with a year's worth of bragging rights — but no cash, since gambling is illegal in New York. That said, drinks are on him tonight!