During Sunday evening's broadcast of the 74th annual Oscars (starting at 8 pm/ET on ABC), host Whoopi Goldberg probably won't make a single reference to categories such as Best Adapted Screenplay by a Writer Who Might Someday Cast Me or Outstanding Performance by One of My Former Co-Stars. But, as TV Guide Online's poll of Hollywood's elite suggests, Academy members often are as eager to hand out statuettes in the name of friendship and career advancement as they are on the basis of actual cinematic achievement. Here then, without further ado, are the nominees to whom our distinguished panel would give the gold and why.
Susan Sarandon: "I'm rooting for Sean Penn."
Guy Pearce (Memento, The Time Machine): "I'm a big Sean Penn fan, so I'd like him to win."
Barry Watson (7th Heaven): "I'd like to see Denzel Washington win."
Greg Grunberg (Felicity): "Akiva Goldsman must win for best screenplay for A Beautiful Mind. Not only for an incredible script, but he's a good friend and all my friends must win so they can hire me over and over again."
Tom Arnold: "Denzel Washington."
Samantha Mumba (The Time Machine): "Moulin Rouge. I had the biggest lump in my throat by the end of the movie."
John Leguizamo: "Moulin Rouge and not just because I was in it."
Kevin Pollak (Stolen Summer): "Jennifer Connelly. I'm crazy about her."
Brad Garrett (Everybody Loves Raymond): "A Beautiful Mind for best picture."
Dominic Chianese (The Sopranos): "I'm a voter and I can't say who I picked."
Orlando Jones (The Time Machine): "I'm rooting for Denzel."
Linda Dano (One Life to Live): "Denzel Washington is my vote for anything and everything!"
J.J. Abrams (creator of Alias, Felicity): "I'm rooting for Akiva Goldsman. He introduced me to my wife!"
Michael Rosenbaum (Smallville): "I loved Lord of the Rings. I saw it three times. I hope it wins even if it was 12 hours long!"
Leslie Hope (24): "Halle Berry. I think it would be a great shake-up for this country to finally recognize an actress of color in a leading role."
Hunter Ellis (Survivor: Marquesas): "I thought Russell Crowe did an awesome job in A Beautiful Mind."
Lisa Edelstein (Ally McBeal, Leap of Faith): "Lord of the Rings. I thought it was gorgeous."
Wesley Snipes: "I'm rooting for Denzel and Will and Halle. I want all of them to win."
Neve Campbell (Party of Five): "Halle Berry or Sissy Spacek."
Harland Williams (Sorority Boys): "I thought Jennifer Connelly was really good. There's something kind of girl-next-door about her. She's very accessible."
Paul Reiser: "Denzel Washington. I don't know how you could be better than that."
Charlotte Ross (NYPD Blue): "Akiva Goldsman. He's an old friend and a brilliant writer."
Forest Whitaker (Panic Room): "I hope Denzel wins. I love Denzel."
Linda Eder (singer): "It would be great to see Russell Crowe win twice in a row. He gave two powerful, back-to-back performances."
Aidan Quinn (Stolen Summer, Legends of the Fall): "I'm particularly rooting for Halle Berry."
Lisa Gay Hamilton (The Practice): "Moulin Rouge!"
Homer Simpson: "I really hated Monster's Ball. I didn't see Frankenstein dancing with Dracula once."