Why didn't Renee Zellweger sing the Chicago number? In the movie, Best Song nominee "I Move On" is performed by Zellweger and Catherine Zeta-Jones. Yet Zellweger decided weeks before the ceremony that she wasn't going to perform on the telecast. "(Renee) wanted her night to be about celebration, not about work," says Chicago director Rob Marshall. "She had family in town." Fortunately, Queen Latifah was happy to take her place. In the two weeks leading up to Oscar night, she rehearsed about eight hours a day with Zeta-Jones.
Who was the 'friend from Queens' that Best Actor Adrien Brody singled out in his acceptance speech? Brody gave a shout out to his childhood pal Tommy Zarobinski, a specialist with the U.S. Army's 773rd transportation company, currently stationed in Kuwait. "We grew up together," says Brody, who attended LaGuardia High School for performing arts in Manhattan with Zarobinski. "We've been friends forever. I mean what I said. I hope he comes back okay. I am thinking about him." Zarobinski's mother, Ada, was moved by Brody's speech. "To hear Adrien talking so beautifully like that on a night that was so big for him, it was a lot of happiness for us," she told PEOPLE. "I never thought he would mention my son. Adrien's a very good-hearted person." Adds Zarobinski's sister Kelli-Ann: "Adrien is Tommy's best friend. After all this publicity and all the movies, he never forgets my brother. He's a stand-up guy."
When Colin Farrell introduced Best Song nominees U2, what was it that he said in Gaelic? Irish actor Farrell gave a tip of the hat to his countrymen by saying, "Go raibh mile maith agat. Agus anois U2!" Translated: "A thousand thank-yous. And now U2!"
Where was Eminem? Best Song winner "Lose Yourself" from 8 Mile was the only number not to be heard during the telecast. That's because weeks before the show, Eminem had turned down an invitation to perform his hit before Hollywood's elite. "He's running a record label and he needed a break," said Eminem's songwriting partner Luis Resto, who accepted the award. "But he will be very overjoyed that he won, believe me. It means a lot to him." As for why another performer didn't come on to do the song in Eminem's stead, Vilanch says he wanted rapper Queen Latifah to fill in but she declined since she was already committed to the Chicago number.