The 15 Most Trivial Things We Learned on the Oscar Campaign Trail

After months of preamble, the Oscars finally arrive on Sunday night. Though the actual events at the big show — the winners, Hathaway and Franco, and the success or failure of their adorable routine — will soon obscure all that came before, let’s not forget that a lot has come before. The nominees have done almost half a year of campaigning, first for nominations and then for the Oscar itself, with all the requisite press — magazine articles, interviews, talk shows — that campaigning requires. We’ve gone through this backlog of chatter and picked out the fifteen funniest, weirdest, and, admittedly, most trivial revelations of the long slog. Prepare to meet Jesse Eisenberg, Foster Cat Dad.

1. Christian Bale’s favorite movie is Beverly Hills Ninja.
“Chris Farley was just phenomenal. Beverly Hills Ninja will always remain one of my tops. One time I sat down and watched [that movie] two nights in a row, and cried with laughter both times. The guy just was a phenomenon, and is missed dearly in my household.” —Esquire

2. Jesse Eisenberg keeps foster cats.
Eisenberg: “I’ve got more cats. I’m a foster parent for cats. The more movies I do, the more guilt I feel, and the more cats I feel the need to get to alleviate the guilt from doing the movies. If a move is god forbid popular, then I have to get even more cats.I have a lot of cats, cat food, litter, and nothing else in the apartment. My life is basically just feeding and cleaning cats, and then I get to be the ‘Sexiest Geek Alive.’” —Conan

3. Colin Firth really loves drag.
“I’m sorry. That’s if one thing has come out of 60 Minutes here, it’s we have discovered, we’ve unveiled the fact that Colin Firth has no shame. I am such a drag queen. It’s one of my primary driving forces in life. If you cannot dangle a spandex suit and a little bit of mascara in front of me and not just have me go weak at the knees.” —60 Minutes

“You should have seen me, raiding my mother’s wardrobe all the time. The frocks, the make up, the drama, the weaponry! It wasn’t all girly stuff, I mean, you know, I had some butch tendencies as well. I’m never quite sure whether I’m more driven by an infantile desire to get attention and perform or something which has a kind of quixotic sense of being on a noble mission.” —Inside the Actors Studio

4. Amy Adams has delivered the line “Never in the butt.”
In Cruel Intentions 2, in exactly the way you think. At the 1:08 mark.

5. Natalie Portman knows the Winkelvii personally.
“I went to school with those guys. I know the Winklevoss twins. I partied with them.” —Newsweek

6. Jon Hamm was in A Single Man.
Q: [In A Single Man, who were you really talking to on the other phone line when you did that scene [where your partner died]?”
Firth: “I was talking to Chris Weitz, the producer. He was on the other end of the phone. He did a great job. It’s a different actor, Jon Hamm, whose voice, was subsequently dubbed in that scene.” —Examiner

7. Jesse Eisenberg doesn’t think The Social Network is his best work.
“I feel like I’ve acted better in other things. I mean, I acknowledge this movie is regarded better than anything I’ve ever been in. But it doesn’t always feel like there’s a direct correlation between, like, what you do and the efforts you put in and the reception that follows.” —CBS

8. James Franco has a sex tape, somewhere.
“I think if anybody who has made a home sex tape knows, what feels best doesn’t always look best [laughter]. I remember when I was 19 doing that, and then watching it back and thinking, oh, that looks horrible.” —Newsweek

9. Mila Kunis has weak wrists (or it is very hard to flap your arms like a swan).
Q: What was the hardest thing to learn for both girls?
Benjamin Millepied: I think a lot of the wrists and hands were an issue with Mila. Bending and having fluid arms. And I would say probably what I was most on Natalie’s case with was also bending her elbows. She did hours and hours of exercises to get the swan arms right. — Vulture

10. The Coen brothers thought Javier Bardem’s haircut in No Country for Old Men was a joke .
Bardem: “There was no mirror. So I turn and I look at [the Coen brothers] and they were laughing so hard. One of them fell off on the floor. And I said, ‘I need a mirror. I need a mirror right now. What’s going on here?’ And I saw it. And it was like ‘Wow, that’s really insane.’” —NPR

11. The guy who wrote The Fighter wrote Air Bud.
“Look, I love Air Bud. I’m proud of it. But it’s one of those things where, because that movie rose to where it did and became a franchise, that’s what’s always in print next to my name now whenever I’m mentioned anywhere, even though I’ve sold loads of projects since then… There are similar themes [to The Fighter]. Because Air Bud is also about a kid who’s trying to find his way and who never gives up. And then the relationship between the boy and the trainer is very similar to Micky’s relationship to his brother.” —Vulture

12. Justin Bieber thinks he’s too old for Hailee Steinfeld.
“I think she’s cute. [Buts] She’s young … She’s 14; I’ll be 17 in less than a month.” —The Tonight Show

13. Jeff Bridges is the Dude.
“I think the first award I won last year for that part, I wanted to make sure I got up and thanked our wonderful director Scott Cooper. But instead of thanking Scott Cooper, I went on and thanked Chris Cooper. I was going on and on about what a wonderful director Chris Cooper is until I heard my wife shouting out in the audience: “Scott! Scott!” So all my nightmares came true, I guess.” —Movieline

14. Melissa Leo could teach James Franco about soap acting.

15. Robert Duvall thinks Stanley Kubrick is “an actor’s enemy.”
“To me the great Stanley Kubrick was an actor’s enemy. I can point to movies he’s done, which are the worst performances I’e ever seen in movies. The Shining. Clockwork Orange. Terrible performances.” — The Hollywood Reporter

The 15 Most Trivial Things We Learned on the Oscar Campaign Trail