6 Strange, Weird, and Interesting Trivia Facts About the Academy Awards

It’s Oscar season, and we’ve got your fun Oscar interesting trivia facts.

  • Interesting trivia facts about the Academy AwardsIn years past, the 19 acting nominees who are not Meryl Streep have amassed between them 19 Academy Award nominations, and two wins. With her Best Supporting Actress nod for Into the Woods, Streep now has 19 nominations by herself. (And she’s already won three times.)
  • Whiplash is nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay, even though it isn’t based on a preexisting work. Director Damien Chazelle filmed a single scene of the movie to drum up funding for the full-length movie. It ultimately worked, but Chazelle liked the sample scene so much that he shopped it around on the film festival circuit as a standalone short film. Because that film was publicly released, the Academy considers the full Whiplash to be based on the short Whiplash, even though the short Whiplash is just a portion of the full Whiplash.
  • 25 percent of this year’s acting nominees are British. While it may seem like esteemed English performers dominate the Oscars, they don’t—17 percent of all acting nominees since the Oscars began have been from Great Britain. (Percentage of American nominees: 72 percent.) The British did dominate in the mid-1960s, scoring half of the acting nominations between 1965 and 1967.
  • A movie studio will spend about $10 million to promote a movie to a Best Picture nomination. Prestige can’t really be quantified, but a Best Picture win works out to only about $3 million more at the box office.
  • Demographics of Academy Award voters: 94 percent are white, 77 percent are male, and the median age is 62.
  • Were the Academy Awards created in the 1920s to bestow laurels on artistic merit in film? Not exactly. Studio boss Louis B. Mayer conceived of the awards ceremony to stifle a growing unionization movement in the film industry. By creating the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, he could have an organization to handle contract disputes between studios and actors (with the studios almost always winning). He also thought he could distract actors by “hanging medals all over them,” Mayer once said. “If I got them cups and awards, they’d kill themselves to produce what I wanted.”