2012 Oscars Mysteries Solved

Claudine Zap
Coverage of The 84th Annual Academy Awards®

You watched. And you wondered. Now those nagging questions from the red carpet and the Academy Awards show will be answered.

Did Jean Dujardin get away with cursing onstage?

After taking the stage for his best actor win for "The Artist," Dujardin slipped into his native language and dropped the French equivalent of the F-bomb (user beware, his speech in the Oscar video occurs at 1:51) . Dujardin apologized for his mistake backstage. "I'm sorry," he told reporters, adding the rest of the translation of his speech. "It's amazing, it's incredible, it's unbelievable. Thank you." His mother, however, didn't think his profanity was so amazing. "I don't like, I don't like [that] he said [it]," said his mom, who attended the Oscars with Dujardin. His director was a little more relaxed. "It's not really a bad word," said Michel Hazanavicius. "I think it's 'Wow, [expletive], we did it! I'm so happy! Something like that, or maybe, 'Holly golly, I am so happy!'" Dujardin wasn't alone in his slip. The "Undefeated" team won best documentary and apologized after being bleeped for saying the win was "f---ing awesome." "We meant no offense," said TJ Martin.

[Related: See more Oscar nominee videos]

Who is "the Dictator"?

Sacha Baron Cohen may not have been an Oscar contender, but he did his best to commandeer the red carpet. The very method actor sparked buzz before the ceremony by asking to attend the event in character for his upcoming film "The Dictator," which is described as the "heroic story of a dictator who risks his life to ensure that democracy would never come to the country he so lovingly oppressed." The "Hugo" actor got his wish, at least on the red carpet, appearing as the fictional Admiral General Aladeen in a white uniform and fake beard, carrying an urn that he said contained the ashes of the late North Korean leader, Kim Jong Il. The troublemaker then seemed to trip, dumping the ashes onto Ryan Seacrest. Cohen told the TV host, "If someone asks what you are wearing, tell them Kim Jong Il."

What was on Melissa McCarthy's shoe?

The "Bridesmaids" Oscar nominee arrived on the red carpet carrying a clutch and shoes by "it" designer Brian Atwood. The two have been buds since growing up together in Illinois. The fashion designer encouraged the comic to step out and do standup. For her first Oscar turn, the custom-made shoes came with a special message inscribed on the sole: "To my best friend."

What language was Sandra Bullock speaking?

The "Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close" star has a secret talent that was showcased for the presentation of the Oscar for best foreign film: She spoke German -- although the actress said it was "Chinese" with a German accent (she was joking). So why does the California girl speak German fluently? Simple: Bullock's mom, Helga D. Meyer, who died in 2000, was a German opera singer and teacher. Obviously, she taught her daughter well. As a child, the star would travel with her parent on opera tours in Europe, where she learned her mother's tongue.

Where was Halle Berry?

One last-minute cancellation from the Oscars was one Halle Berry. The Oscar winner, who had hoped to put her best foot forward as an Oscar presenter, had to bow out at the last minute due to a broken foot. The actress injured herself while filming the movie "Cloud Atlas." A source tells People that there's more to the story. The accident happened on a day off from shooting in Spain. Berry hurt herself while running across the road chasing her three-and-a-half-year-old daughter, who in turn was chasing a goat.

What is a seat filler?

Before presenting the Oscar for cinematography, Tom Hanks gave credit to an unsung hero: the seat filler. A frilly suited man who could be a ringer for Mickey Rooney got his Hollywood moment -- the Oscar winner said the good-natured guy has been keeping seats warm for 59 years. So, what exactly is a seat filler?

If you watched the Oscars, you'd notice that every seat is always filled. That's no accident. Producers of the Oscars don't like empty seats on camera, thinking the gaps look bad, especially up front where all the nominees sit and the camera often shows. Enter the seat filler: These lucky folks get to be inside the theater for the event, but their job is to seek out the empty seat while a guest sneaks out for a bathroom break, and then give it back when the celeb returns. Then the search for the next empty seat is on. It's usually a thankless job, until tonight.

What does "Sagapo poli" mean?

Alexander Payne won for best adapted screenplay for "The Descendants." But his mother was also a winner. The writer and director, who was born Constantine Alexander Payne and is of Greek descent, said that he promised his mother, who was with him from Omaha, that if he received an Oscar, he would dedicate it to her. And so he did, saying in Greek, "Sagapo poli." Translation: "I love you very much."

Who was that singer?

For the homage to those who Hollywood has lost, the Oscars found a new performer to accompany the photo montage. Esperanza Spalding, who was a Grammy breakout star, showed viewers why with a moving rendition of "It's a Wonderful World." The 27-year-old singer was accompanied by the talented Southern California children's chorus.

Did someone say Martin Scorsese? Drink up!

Leave it to cast members of "The Bridesmaids" to introduce a party game into the Oscars. When co-presenters Melissa McCarthy and Rose Byrne heard someone yell out "Scorsese," the two pulled out mini-bottles of a possibly adult beverage and took a swig. When the camera cut to Martin Scorsese, the director simply looked confused. This was a continuation of a game the ladies conceived at the Screen Actors Guild Awards last month.

Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage

Claudine Zap writes for Yahoo! and has previously covered events including the royal wedding, the 10 year anniversary of 9/ 11, the Super Bowl, and the Grammys.