Oscars writers on James Franco and Anna Hathaway’s awkward hosting

Oscars writers on James Franco and Anna Hathaway’s awkward hosting

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James Franco reportedly told Anne Hathaway to not tell him “how to be funny” during rehearsals for the 2011 Oscars.

The pair were heavily criticised by viewers after they co-hosted the Academy Awards a decade ago, with an apparent lack of chemistry between them and now one of the ceremony’s four main writers has admitted the event was like an awkward “blind date” between the two stars.

David Wild told The Ringer: “It was like the world’s most uncomfortable blind date between the cool rocker stoner kid and the adorable theater camp cheerleader…

“This is a memory, but [she] was like ‘Maybe you should try that,’ and he was like, ‘Don’t tell me how to be funny.’ “

At one point, David thought the pair had “broken through” as he saw surveillance footage of ‘The Disaster Artist’ star smiling at a person stood next to him on stage.

However, he explained: “I thought, ‘Oh boy, they’ve finally broken through and he’s looking at her!’ Anne had gone to her dressing room for a minute… James was smiling at her stand-in.”

Megan Amram – who also served as a writer for the event – revealed musical numbers were scrapped, including a parody of ‘You’re the One That I Want’ from ‘Grease’, because there was a struggle to figure out the right “tone” for the pair.

She added: “A lot of stuff that made it into the show was written a few days beforehand.

“We wrote all these jokes, but I don’t think we ever landed on a tone or a cohesive feeling of what the show would be.”

Both James and Anne have opened up about the ceremony over the years, and he admitted he never pushed to deliver “the best Oscars ever”.

Speaking in 2016, he said: “When Anne Hathaway decided to host the Oscars with me…She had said no before, and then they asked me to ask her, and I said, ‘Let’s just do it. It’ll be an adventure,’ and then we got a lot of s*** for it.

“I probably got more than she did, but she got a lot…

“I’m going to do what they ask me to and do it as well as I can, but I don’t need this to be the best Oscars ever. I’m not getting anything out of that.

“In the best-case scenario, even if I killed it, it’s not going to help my career, because that’s not what it’s based on. It was an experiment.”

And back in 2012, Anne commented: “I realised afterwards, I played to the house; it’s a 3,500-seat theatre, so I was just shooting energy to the back of it and it was like a party!

“It was great! And I think it looked slightly manic and ‘hyper-cheerleadery’ onscreen. But I have no regrets about doing it.”