A tough act to follow. 2015 Oscars host Neil Patrick Harris sat down with last year's Oscars host Ellen DeGeneres on Wednesday, Feb. 18, where the two discussed the pressures of entertaining a room filled with celebrities.
"We’re right in the thick of it," Harris, 41, told DeGeneres of prepping for the awards show. "They started loading in the theatre, they’re doing all this stuff now there, at the theatre, and my team of writers are thinking about jokes. And it’s a tricky process with the content as you well know. I should really ask you, what was it like for you a week, six, five days out?"
DeGeneres, who memorably hosted last year's show — her second time on the job — doled out some advice to her successor. "Well, you write as much as you possibly can," she noted. "And up until that day you’re changing jokes and timing it in rehearsal. And really until that day, I mean I was changing things an hour before it started."
Harris said he was feeling a range of emotions ahead of the live broadcast. "I’m calm and I feel good about the content that we’re doing," he said. "I want to make sure that the people that are in the theatre, that are nominated, that are very nervous enjoy the show and feel respected, like I’m talking to them."
Stars expected at the Dolby Theatre this Sunday include Amy Adams, Meryl Streep, Jennifer Aniston, Michael Keaton, and many more. Making the A-list crowd laugh, however, is only a fraction of Harris' overall worries. "I think it’s more important, nay, equally important to be talking to people at home," the How I Met Your Mother alum noted. "And making sure that the people, the larger group of people that are watching it at home feel that I’m talking to them and that they’re not excluded from the party."
"Your selfie shot was the most spectacular, successful thing," the Gone Girl actor gushed. "It worked out so well. But it’s a horrible dark cloud above my head now. How do you try to beat the selfie that broke the Internet? ...It turned out to be a great thing. Selfies into my brain so I’m gonna try to do something better."
The Oscars will air Sunday, Feb. 22 at 8:30 p.m. ET.