James Franco finally defends his infamous Academy Awards hosting gig, among other things, in the latest issue of Playboy.
The actor/director/student/photographer is an undeniably talented artist, but the multi-talented star was panned by critics when he took the stage alongside Anne Hathaway at this year’s Oscars.
Franco told the mag he was initially excited and honored to host Hollywood’s biggest awards ceremony, but after receiving the script, Franco said he felt “trapped” in a situation he had no control over.
“It’s hard to talk about because it’s like assigning blame — not a fun thing to do. In the last week, when we really started focusing on the script for the live show and did a run-through, I said to the producer, I don’t know why you hired me, because you haven’t given me anything,” Franco said. “I just don’t think this stuff’s going to be good.”
Among Franco’s biggest gripes? The awkward sequence in which he appeared on stage dressed as Marilyn Monroe.
“I was so pissed about that, I was deliberately going to fall onstage and hopefully my dress would fall off or something – they couldn’t blame that on me,” said the actor. “I felt like, ‘This is not my boat. I’m just a passenger, but I’m going down and there’s no way out.'”
He was most heavily criticized for being dull, flat, and lacking energy unlike his peppy co-host, Anne Hathaway.
“As far as having low energy or seeming as though I wasn’t into it or was too cool for it, I thought, Okay Anne is going the enthusiastic route. I’ve been trained as an actor to respond to circumstances, to the people I’m working with, and not force anything. So I thought I would be the straight man and she could be the other, and that’s how I was trying to do those lines,” Franco said.
Although the show was panned by critics and fans alike, Franco says he received nothing positive reactions after the show.
“After the show everybody was so happy, and the show’s producer, hugged me and said, ‘Steven Spielberg just told me it was the best Oscars ever!'”