They tried their best. Anne Hathaway opened up about cohosting the 83rd Academy Awards with James Franco — and yes, she’s aware it didn’t go well.
The actress, 38, played a game on the Monday, October 25, episode of Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen where she was shown a series of photos from throughout her career. After presenting the pictures, Andy Cohen asked Hathaway to relate the memory to one word.
Cohen, 54, cut to a photo of Hathaway and Franco, 44, from the Oscars ceremony in 2011. The Princess Diaries star rapidly responded, “[We] sucked,” which caused herself, Cohen, guest Victoria Beckham and the entire audience to burst out laughing.
This was not the first time the Devil Wears Prada actress has poked fun at herself for the hosting gig. Before the 91st Academy Awards in 2019, Hathaway shared a throwback photo via social media of her and the Disaster Artist star from eight years prior.
“No matter what happens with today’s show, just remember, it’s already been worse,” she wrote at the time. “Happy Oscars!”
The 2011 Oscars were deemed as a flop due to the uncomfortable chemistry between Franco and Hathaway. David Wild, one of the writers for the 2011 award show, opened up about the awkwardness between Hathaway and Franco a decade after the ceremony.
“It was like the world’s most uncomfortable blind date between the cool rocker stoner kid and the adorable theater camp cheerleader,” Wild told The Ringer in April 2021. “Again, this is a memory, but [Anne] was like, ‘Maybe you should try that,’ and he was like, ‘Don’t tell me how to be funny.'”
Meanwhile, writer-director Jordan Rubin also shared that the Oceans Eight actress had a different approach to getting ready for the show than the Pineapple Express actor did.
“Anne made herself readily available. I went to her house and worked on the script and she was on a bunch of conference calls and responding to emails and was a great collaborator,” he said, noting that he oversaw the production.
When the awards took place, Franco was balancing his acting career and his various educational pursuits. The actor took doctoral classes at Yale University, earned a master’s degree at New York University and taught at Columbia College Hollywood in Los Angeles.
“He always seemed to be on a flight, and it was very hard for me to get a hold of him,” Rubin revealed. “That was a red flag.”
According to the director, it seemed as though Franco wanted to play it as a buddy-cop movie with two opposite characters and made a conscious effort to counter Hathaway’s personality.
In 2016, Franco responded to the criticism about his performance on the awards show during an interview with Vulture. “I’ve never aspired to be the Oscars host. I don’t care really,” the Freaks and Geeks actor shared. “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.”
Source: Us Weekly https://www.usmagazine.com/entertainment/news/anne-hathaway-makes-fun-of-hosting-oscars-with-james-franco/