UPDATE: The producers are even warmer to this idea than we previously thought, thinking this would give “added resonance” if the presenter actually had a personal/professional connection to the nominee. And no, no one would “announce” the connection: the fun supposedly would be letting the viewers connect the dots for themselves.
EXCLUSIVE: Among the ideas that the producers of the Oscarcast are tossing around is a unique variation on last year’s innovation when elite cliques of past actor category winners of all ages showed up to announce the winners. I’m told that this time around exec producers Adam Shankman and Bill Mechanic are leaning towards keeping the multiple presenters concept. But, instead of bringing onstage talent who in most cases didn’t personally know last year’s nominees, the producers are seeking multiple presenters who have a direct connection to each of this year’s actor nominees. In other words, it’s the Oscar version of the popular trivia game, “Six Degrees Of Kevin Bacon”.
No doubt this opens the opportunity to pack the stage with even more starpower, which is the oscarcast’s top priority this year. With tenured talent like Jeff Bridges, George Clooney, Colin Firth, Morgan Freeman, Sandra Bullock, Helen Mirren, and Meryl Streep in the Best Actor/Actress mix this year, the roster of presenters would consist of a Hollywood “Who’s Who.” Take just Meryl Streep, for instance; the pool of her many co-stars includes Robert De Niro (Deer Hunter, Falling In Love, Marvin’s Room) Leonardo DiCaprio (Marvin’s Room), Jack Nicholson (Ironweed, Heartburn), Anne Hathaway (The Devil Wears Prada), Clint Eastwood (The Bridges Of Madison County), Robert Redford (Out Of Africa), Dustin Hoffman (Kramer vs Kramer), Amanda Seyfried (Mamma Mia!), even Kevin Bacon (The River Wild). But, at the same time, there’s also the risk that people won’t know the film histories of younger nominees who turned in breakout performances like The Hurt Locker’s Jeremy Renner, An Education’s Carey Mulligan, and Precious‘ Gabourney Sidibe starring in her first feature.
And how would this work? Would an announcer explain the connection? Or would viewers have to guess it for themselves? Sounds like there’s an unintended benefit for the home audience. Another Academy Awards drinking game, “Six Degrees of Meryl Streep”, another opportunity to get sloshed.