James Franco: I Don't Know Why Oscar Producers Hired Me

Entertainment Jul. 12, 2011 AT 2:02PM
James Franco: I Don't Know Why Oscar Producers Hired Me Credit: Steve Granitz/WireImage.com

Not impressed when James Franco co-hosted the Academy Awards?

Neither was he. In the new issue of Playboy, the 33-year-old actor admits he was none too pleased with how he came across on stage.

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When Franco was initially asked to co-host the show alongside Anne Hathaway, he asked himself, "How am I going to get out of this?"

"I mean, what are the host's responsibilities?" he wondered. "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 told me they knew I wasn't Chris Rock and that they had designed the show around me."

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So where did things go wrong? The 127 Hours star blames a lack of material. "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,'" he recalls. "I just don't think this stuff's going to be good."

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Franco says he was purposefully "low energy" as a contrast to Hathaway's enthusiasm. "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," he says. "I felt kind of trapped in that material. I felt [that] this is not my boat. I'm just a passenger, but I'm going down and there’s no way out."

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