James Franco has been widely panned as the worst Oscar host since David Letterman in 1995, and now the Rise of the Planet of the Apes actor is revealing that he knew it wasn't going to work while still in rehearsals.
When the actor first signed to co-host this year's ceremony alongside Anne Hathaway, he was excited and thought it was a can't-miss gig. But once they started rehearsals, he started having doubts.
"It's hard to talk about because it's like assigning blame -- not a fun thing to do," he told Playboy magazine, as picked up by the Huffington Post. "For three or four weeks we shot the promos and the little film that played in the opening. 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. I just don't think this stuff's going to be good.'"
One of his least favorite bits was one in which he came out dressed like Marilyn Monroe. In fact, he almost sabotaged the whole thing.
"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; I was in high heels," Franco said.
The original plan was to have him sing as Cher, and then have the Burlesque actress-singer come out onstage, but that idea was nixed once Cher failed to receive a nomination for best original song.
"I told them, 'Look, this is the thing people are going to talk about, the images they will take away from the show,'" he added. "I just didn't want to fight anymore, even when they said, 'You'll come out as Marilyn Monroe. It'll be funny.' Me in drag is not funny."
Meanwhile, Franco reveals that Judd Apatow was even brought in to write some material for the show -- "some very funny stuff" -- but that ultimately wasn't used.
As for criticism that Franco lacked enthusiasm, especially next to Hathaway, the actor said that was intentional.
"As far as having low energy or seeming as though I wasn't into it or was too cool for it, I thought, OK, 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,'" Franco added. "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. I felt kind of trapped in that material. I felt, 'This is not my boat. I'm just a passenger, but I'm going down and there's no way out.'"
After the show, Frano said he received lots of praise from the producers, including Bruce Cohen, who told Franco: 'Steve Spielberg just told me it was the best Oscars ever!'"
Franco next appears in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, which opens in August. He also has signed on for Oz: The Great and Powerful.-Joey's Two Cents: I don't really put too much stock in the hosting gig, so I didn't mind his job as much as most, but it's good to see he's honest about his feelings...thoughts