We’ve all heard of “The Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon,” a mid-’90s parlor game based on “The Six Degrees of Separation,” a theory in which any two people on the planet are connected by just six (or less) other people.
In honor of the 2013 Academy Awards, we thought we’d put the theory to the test with none other than the man himself, Walt Disney. We set up a couple of parameters:
- Connections had to be made through actual people who worked together, were related, or are truly friends.
- The same people could not be used more than once (otherwise, let’s face it, Julie Andrews could probably get us everywhere!).
And the Best Actor nominees are:
Daniel Day Lewis (Lincoln) appeared in Gangs of New York with Jim Broadbent, who was in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince with Dame Maggie Smith, who appeared in Death on the Nile with Disney Legend Angela Lansbury, who was hired by Walt.
Joaquin Phoenix (The Master) worked on Quills with Michael Caine, who worked on Alfie (1966) with Millicent Martin, who worked with Juliet Mills on an episode of the British TV series The Morecambe and Wise Show and who is sister of Disney Legend Hayley Mills, who worked with Walt on The Parent Trap and other projects.
Denzel Washington (Flight) costarred in The Preacher’s Wife with Whitney Houston, who worked on Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella with Bernadette Peters, who presented on the 1987 Tony Awards with Chita Rivera, who appeared on Broadway in Bye Bye Birdie with Dick Van Dyke, who worked with Walt on Mary Poppins.
And the Best Actress nominees are:
Jessica Chastain (Zero Dark Thirty) worked in The Help with Emma Stone, who worked in The Amazing Spider-Man with Sally Field, who worked on Legally Blonde 2 with Bob Newhart, who worked on his self-titled TV show with Suzanne Pleshette, who worked with Walt on The Ugly Dachshund.
Jennifer Lawrence (Silver Linings Playbook) was in X-Men: First Class with Kevin Bacon (we had to get him in here somewhere!), who worked on Apollo 13 with Bill Paxton, who starred in Twister with Helen Hunt. Helen Hunt was in As Good As It Gets with Shirley Knight who worked with Candace Bergen on The Group and whose father, Edgar Bergen, worked with Walt Disney on the book Edgar Bergen’s Charlie McCarthy Meets Walt Disney’s Snow White.
Emmanuelle Riva (Amour) worked on Blue with Juliette Binoche, who worked on Chocolat with Johnny Depp, who worked on Finding Neverland with Julie Christie, who worked on Doctor Zhivago with Alec Guinness, who filmed Oliver Twist with Robert Newton, who worked with Walt Disney on Treasure Island.
Quvenzhané Wallis (Beasts of the Southern Wild) will star in the upcoming Twelve Years As A Slave with Brad Pitt, who starred in Interview With A Vampire with Tom Cruise, who worked on Vanilla Sky with Kurt Russell, who worked with Walt on Follow Me Boys and other projects.
Naomi Watts (The Impossible) is best friends with Nicole Kidman, who worked on The Paperboy with Zac Efron, who worked in Hairspray with John Travolta, who was in Grease with Frankie Avalon, who worked on Beach Party with Annette Funicello, who worked with Walt on the Mickey Mouse Club and numerous other projects.