James Franco talks to Playboy about Oscar debacle

HollywoodNews.com: There are not a lot of people who can successfully host a major awards show. Neil Patrick Harris is a genius at it and Jimmy Fallon, Hugh Jackman and Sean Hayes have also been big hits in recent years.

But the pairing of James Franco and Anne Hathaway to host this year’s Oscars was, at times, painful to watch. While Hathaway gamely got through the night with smiles, enthusiasm and endless dress changes, Franco just seemed disinterested after a certain point.

In a new interview with Playboy, he talks about the experience and much more. Here is a portion of the interview:

PLAYBOY: Some might question how seriously you took co-hosting the Oscars show with Anne Hathaway.

FRANCO: When they asked me to do it, I laughed and said, “How am I going to get out of this?” I had one of the best acting experiences working with [director] Danny Boyle on 127 Hours, and we made something great. The studio was making a push for my best actor nomination, and people had been talking about it. At the time I thought no one had won an Oscar the year they hosted the show—I learned later that David Niven had, about 50 years ago—and I thought my hosting the show would cut down my chances, take some of the pressure off and say to people, or at least to myself, “You’re not going to worry about this.” I had done a bit for the Oscars before with Seth Rogen that was a big hit. I felt confident I could do it. I mean, what are the host’s responsibilities? You have an opening monologue, maybe a bit or two in the middle of the show, and then the rest is just reading names. They knew I could rehearse only on weekends because of school, but how much do you have to rehearse? They told me they knew I wasn’t Chris Rock and that they had designed the show around me.

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