78th Annual Academy Awards

Say hello to Oscar’s golden boy.

After hosting four Tonys and two Emmys, Neil Patrick Harris is taking the plunge into the Oscar pool (literally, as you can see from our cover photo). As the emcee of this year’s Academy Awards, he will preside over an event meant to honor the best motion pictures of the year. But when EW sat down to talk with him for this week’s cover, we wanted to know about his favorite movies from yesteryear.

Also, we wanted to paint him gold. He consented to both.

For die-hard Oscar fans, the world of film means more to them than mere entertainment. They’re a way we connect with friends, family, and the rest of the world. So we wanted to talk with the How I Met Your Mother and Gone Girl actor about the movies that are important touchstones in his life—and they weren’t all awards darlings.

Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, the multiple-ending mystery Clue, and the 1982 version of Annie ranked on his list of destiny-shapers. “My interest in musicals started with Annie,” Harris says. “I guess that spoke to small-town me and wanting to maybe someday get to the big city and do something bigger. I wasn’t an orphan, thankfully. But I loved that that small story turned into a much larger adventure.”

Following this year’s Oscar race has been an adventure all its own, and Prize Fighter pundit Nicole Sperling dives right in, offering her predictions for the Feb. 22 broadcast. We also introduce our new Oscar Predictability Index—a statistical deep dive into who’s won what this season and how predictive each award is of the Academy Award. And of course, there’s EW’s annual Secret Oscar Ballot, in which we poll a top-secret group of Academy voters on who their top picks are—and why.

In addition, Oscar telecast producers Neil Meron and Craig Zadan, now in their third consecutive year of overseeing the ABC show, explained their surprising fixes for some of the broadcast’s most enduring problems. Let’s just say: Never put a starlet in high-heels on a staircase—at least, not if you want the show to start moving as slowly as she does.

For more on Neil Patrick Harris and the Oscar race, pick up this week’s issue of EW, on stands Friday. Click here to buy it now.

78th Annual Academy Awards
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