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Oscars supercut: Relive some of the best opening-number moments -- VIDEO

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We all know Ellen DeGeneres loves to dance — she even led a whole chorus full of tuxedo-clad dancers for her first Oscar promo. But will the comedian join the likes of former Oscar hosts like Seth MacFarlane, Hugh Jackman, and Billy Crystal, who all started the show with a little musical salute? Well, we will have to wait until Sunday night for that answer, but in the meantime, enjoy this clip of some of our favorite moments from past Academy Award opening numbers. And thanks again, Seth, for the EW shout-out in your number. We’ve already decided that when you host the Oscars again in 2018 it will be the best ever! READ FULL STORY

Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro remember 'Analyze This' director Harold Ramis

Harold Ramis directed Billy Crystal and Robert De Niro in his 1999 comedy Analyze This, and Crystal remembers the man fondly.

“Harold was a gentle, funny man,” he said in an emailed statement. “He found the perfect tone for Robert De Niro and I in Analyze This.”

In the film, De Niro plays a Mafia man who is struggling with stress and goes to see a psychiatrist, played by Crystal, who he begins an unlikely friendship with. In addition to directing the film, Ramis also co-wrote the screenplay. Crystal ended his statement saying, “He was a good man and I am shocked and saddened at his passing.” De Niro also commented on Ramis’ death, saying in an emailed statement, “I’m very sad to hear of Harold’s passing. He was a warm, sweet, gentle, and kind man. I greatly enjoyed working with him and he shall be missed.”

John Goodman on his 'Monsters' hit, working with George Clooney again, and a return to 'SNL'

For a ubiquitous character actor who’s been working pretty much non-stop for 30 years in movies and television — including a heralded nine-season run on Roseanne — John Goodman is in the midst of one of the most successful stretches of his career. His most obvious score is Monsters University, the Pixar prequel to the 2001 smash that opened this weekend with $82 million, making it the fourth biggest animated-film debut in history. Goodman’s blue-furred Sully reunited with Billy Crystal’s one-eyed, walking green-pea Mike for the story of how the odd couple first met in college — when Sully was a lazy BMOC and Mike was an overachieving go-getter intent on becoming the scariest of Scarers.

But then there’s also Goodman’s recent on-camera work, which has included supporting roles in the last two Academy Award Best Pictures winners — The Artist and Argo — as well as a scene-stealing appearance opposite Denzel Washington in last year’s Flight. Throw in upcoming roles in the Coen brothers’ Inside Llewyn Davis and George Clooney’s World War II drama, Monuments Men, and Goodman just might be on course for an elusive but long-overdue Oscar nomination. (See also: Barton Fink.) “Right now, I’m at the high point of the roller coaster, but it’s always going to dip,” says Goodman. “So I’m just out there trying to enjoy it while it lasts.”

Click below for more from Goodman. READ FULL STORY

Casting Net: 'The Terminator' in talks to play the Exterminator in 'Toxic Avenger' reboot; Plus, Olivia Wilde, more

• Arnold Schwarzenegger is in talks to star in a reboot of The Toxic Avenger to play the Exterminator, who helps the Toxic Avenger (a weak kid who has an unfortunate accident at a toxic chemicals plant) learn to use his newfound powers for good. So, they team up to take on the evil polluters. Writer and director Steve Pink (Hot Tub Time Machine) is leading the adaptation, and Lloyd Kaufman and Michael Herz (directors of the 1984 cult classic) will serve as executive producers. [Deadline]

• Olivia Wilde (TRON) and Mark Duplass (The League) are set to star in Reawakening, a medical thriller about some students who figure out how to bring people back from the dead. David Gelb, who directed the documentary Jiro Dreams of Sushi, will make his feature narrative debut on the project. Besides her turn in the independent comedy Drinking Buddies, Wilde can be seen next in Ron Howard’s Rush. Duplass also has a number of acting projects on the horizon including the JFK assassination drama Parkland. [Variety]

READ FULL STORY

'Bridesmaids' Matt Lucas (and his giant alphorn) star in 'Small Apartments' trailer -- EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

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Remember Kristen Wiig’s oddball roommates in Bridesmaids? Well, actors Matt Lucas (Little Britain) and Rebel Wilson are back together in Small Apartments, a comedy about one sad Swiss-obsessed man’s misadventures after his landlord drops dead in his kitchen. Lucas plays the sad man, one unfortunately named Franklin Franklin who plays the alphorn in his undies. Wilson pops up as another character that only she could play.

The film, which premiered at this year’s South by Southwest Film Festival, also stars Billy Crystal, Juno Temple, James Marsden, James Caan, and Johnny Knoxville. It arrives on DVD and video-on-demand on Feb. 19. Watch the bizarre trailer below. READ FULL STORY

'Monsters University': Billy Crystal explains the prequel's 'Revenge of the Nerds' connection

We already know from the four trailers released in June that Pixar’s upcoming prequel Monsters University will explore the college years of Mike (Billy Crystal) and Sully (John Goodman) — and all the hard partying, pranking, and perhaps even studying (yeah, right) that went on as the friends prepared to be professional scream-catchers. But when EW recently caught up with Crystal to talk about his upcoming babysitting comedy Parental Guidance (due Dec. 25), the seasoned Oscar host was feeling so excited about the progress being made on Monsters University, he shed light on a few more details of the otherwise unknown story. (Minor SPOILERS ahead.)  READ FULL STORY

Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Meryl Streep, others share thoughts on Nora Ephron

Filmmaker and author Nora Ephron died Tuesday, leaving behind a huge legacy of films, as well as many friends and colleagues in Hollywood. Here are their thoughts and memories of Ephron:

“Nora was a person whose gifts of mind, amply displayed as a young person in her sharply observed journalistic pieces and in her personal wit, were, when I first met her, kind of scary: aimed and airy at the same time, an insouciant sharpness that could be intimidating, because you could never catch her ‘trying’, everything seemed effortless. But as I got to know her, I understood what drove her was her acute curiosity, and her desire to observe and find out stuff. It’s what made her great as a journalist, and as a director, too. She thought fast, loved new ideas, processed swiftly, decided what was valuable and what was not with clarity. It’s hard to credit how very smart she was, cause she was always deflectively feminine and funny, the sharpness of mind softened and smoothed by genuine charm.” — Meryl Streep, star of Silkwood (co-written by Ephron) and Julie & Julia (written and directed by Ephron)

“Nora Ephron was a journalist/artist who knew what was important to know; how things really worked, what was worthwhile, who was fascinating and why. At a dinner table and on a film set she lifted us all with wisdom and wit mixed with love for us and love for life. Rita and I are so very sad to lose our friend who brought so much joy to all who were lucky enough to know her…” — Tom Hanks, star of You’ve Got Mail and Sleepless in Seattle, both co-written and directed by Ephron READ FULL STORY

Oscars on the Scene: 'Vice Principal' Tom Hanks polices the backstage halls as Billy Crystal counts down to the show

As the clock ticks down toward show time, the backstage corridors of the Academy Awards become like celebrity pinball.

It starts out quiet. One or two stars roll in while a whole galaxy of them circulates out on the red carpet. Among the first to grace the hushed wings of the stage is someone not typically associated with formality and decorum — Zach Galifianakis.

As part of its pre-show, ABC has situated Entertainment Weekly‘s own Managing Editor Jess Cagle in the backstage area to catch celebrities who have managed to steer clear of the massive, paparazzi-filled red carpet. READ FULL STORY

Oscars 2012: EW goes inside the star-studded rehearsals for tonight's show! -- PHOTOS

Billy … who?

In a place full of celebrity sightings, sometimes even the host can find himself camouflaged.

Tonight the 84th annual Oscars bring a close to Hollywood’s award season, but before that, EW takes you behind the scenes as stars gather to rehearse the big telecast.

Here’s what happened when Angelina Jolie, Tom Cruise, Billy Crystal, Chris Rock, Ben Stiller, Emma Stone, Christian Bale, Tom Hanks, and the ladies of Bridesmaids (among others) came together to put on a show. Even past Oscar-winners like Gwyneth Paltrow, pictured here, can have a “d’oh” moment.

Among the stories from backstage over the past two days is the hilariously bizarre account of what happened when the voice of Darth Vader met Miracle Max — and said he mistook him for “a hoodlum.”



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Image Credit: Chris Carlson/AP

It’s rehearsal time for the Academy Awards, and a woman striding offstage pretending to be a winner is holding an Oscar so fake it could be a child’s art project.

In the shadows beside a great velvet curtain, the stand-in for best actress comes face to face with none other than the real Tom Cruise, who has an envelope clasped in his hands and is waiting for his cue to walk out and practice presenting the next award.

AP Photo/Chris Carlson

The Mission: Impossible star tips a slight bow and raises his eyebrows with a wry, mega-watt smile. “Congratulations!” he declares, like he really, really, means it. Really. He chuckles, and – after a beat – so does the stunned stand-in.

If sincerity is the goal, it is surely one of Cruise’s worst-ever performance. But he’s just goofing around.

That’s the great thing about being backstage in the final few days before the Academy Awards — guards are down, and a guy like Cruise can just kid around. Though the crew is working hard, the stars are literally going through the motions.

Tonight when the real show begins (8:30 p.m. Eastern and 5:30 Pacific, on ABC), the pressure returns for everyone with a vengeance.

MORE ON REHEARSALS: Sandra Bullock, Robert Downey Jr. and the shadow dwellers

For more Oscar news tonight, follow @Breznican on Twitter.

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