James Franco, Anne Hathaway’s 2011 Oscars Animated Concert Was An ‘Uncomfortable Blind Date’, Show Writers Say

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Anne Hathaway, winner of Best Supporting Actress for her role in 'Les Miserables', poses with her Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California on February 24, 2013.


Ten years ago, James Franco and Anne Hathaway co-hosted the 83rd Academy Awards and the experience turned out to be quite tricky, according to several writers who worked on the concert in 2011.

At the time, the telecast was criticized for its squeaky and lack of chemistry between the two artists who did just that by playing on each other.

“It was like the most uncomfortable blind date in the world between the cool rocker stoner kid and the adorable playboy cheerleader,” writer David Wild told The Ringer on Wednesday. About the couple’s opening monologue in which the “Love & Other Drugs” star was submissive bragging about Franco for his Best Actor nomination for “127 Hours” while Hathaway was overlooked.

Wild went on to recall a time it sparked friction between the co-hosts after Hathaway – barely 28 and the youngest host at the time – tried to offer advice to Franco.

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Actors James Franco, left, and Anne Hathaway present the 83rd Academy Awards at the Kodak Theater on February 27, 2011 in Hollywood, Calif. (Gabriel Bouys / AFP via Getty Images)

“Again, it’s a memory, but [she] was like, ‘Maybe you should try this,’ and he was like, ‘Don’t tell me how to be funny’, ”Wild said.

“Oh my God, you are all real! Hathaway, 38, exclaimed to the audience at the time as an apparently selfless Franco, 42, barely looked at the crowd.

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Another writer for the telecast said the timing parallels each of the actors’ approach to the coveted hosting position.

“Anne made herself readily available,” Jordan Rubin said of the “Princess Diaries” star. “I went to her house and worked on the script. She has participated in several conference calls and answered emails and has been a great collaborator. “

The Oscars writers reflected on James Franco and Anne Hathaway’s concert at the 2011 Oscars, calling the ordeal an “uncomfortable blind date.” (Reuters / Mike Blake)

On the flip side, Franco would have “always seemed to be on a flight and it was very difficult for me to reach him,” Rubin continued of the funny guy, who at the time was incredibly busy maintaining his acting career. while earning her graduate degree and working as an interim coach.

Viewers at the time speculated whether the “Pineapple Express” star was actually elevated during the broadcast.

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Hathaway was eager to get down to business, Rubin insisted, adding that the “Devil Wears Prada” star “showed up ready to play and is 110% committed,” and although Rubin described Franco as “a great guy ”, he declared Franco“. One would often have the impression that he had just woken up from a nap. ”

“It’s almost like you show up at a tennis court and one person decided they were going to play the US Open and the other wanted to play in jeans and just hit a few balls,” Rubin explained. .

Commenting on the alleged verbal argument that allegedly took place between Franco and Hathaway during rehearsals, Rubin said he saw the situation as a moment when Franco deliberately tried to provide a different element to the approach and style of hosting of Hathaway.

“I think he wanted to play it as a boyfriend-cop movie with two opposing characters,” Rubin said.

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In 2019, the “Oceans 8” actress opened up about the now infamous attempt to host awards, as reports circulated that the show would be hostless for the first time in decades.

“No matter what happens with today’s show, just remember it’s been worse before. Happy Oscars! She joked in an Instagram post at the time.

Anne Hathaway, winner of Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Les Miserables,” poses with her Oscar at the 85th Academy Awards in Hollywood, California on February 24, 2013.
(Reuters)

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She also opened up about the difficulties of hosting Hollywood’s biggest party.

« [Franco] didn’t give me anything, “Hathaway told People in January 2019.” My God, I just remember the night before we were about to go up there, and I turned to everyone. and I said, “Am I too much? It seems really important to me. And the producer just said, “No! Do not do less. Do more if you need to. And I was like, “Oh okay, I guess it’s going great. And I didn’t know what was going on about it all. “

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Hathaway would win an Oscar two years later in 2013 for Best Supporting Actress for her role in “Les Miserables”.

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