James Franco talks Oscars bombing with Letterman: 'I think the Tasmanian Devil would look stoned standing next to Anne Hathaway'

On Friday’s Late Show, James Franco and David Letterman bond over their much-maligned performances as Oscar hosts. Watch a preview below. Franco admits he’s thought about why viewers would think he was “under the influence,” and his best guess: “I love her, but Anne Hathaway is so energetic, I think the Tasmanian Devil would look stoned standing next to Anne Hathaway,” he jokes. Truthfully, he says, he hasn’t played the ceremony back, and maybe he had low energy, but he felt, “I honestly played those lines as well as I could.” Letterman asked Franco why he even cares what people thought. Franco says just because being the best Oscar host ever wasn’t on his list of things to do doesn’t mean he didn’t care or try hard. “But here’s the hypocritical thing,” he says. “Leading up to the Oscars, I couldn’t hear enough about how, ‘Oh, people don’t care about the Oscars anymore. It’s dead. It’s boring. It’s at the end of a long awards season. Who cares about it?’ Well, as soon as you don’t host the way they want you to, they suddenly care, and they won’t shut up about it. Then they can’t hear enough about a show they don’t care about.” 

Letterman, reflecting on his own “Oprah, Uma, Uma, Oprah” experience, told Franco what he can expect now. “There will be for you, I think, a modicum of embarrassment, which you shouldn’t feel,” he says. “That will pass. You’ll go into a period of numbness, and then you’ll become, rightly so, defiant.”

In a morning-after-Oscars PopWatch poll, 47 percent of readers thought Franco and Hathaway gave Letterman competition for Worst Host Ever.

Read more:
James Franco and Bruce Vilanch: All is forgiven!
Bruce Vilanch criticizes James Franco’s Oscar-hosting, Franco feels betrayed: Whose side are you on?
Who should host next year’s Oscars?
Oscar hosts: Did James Franco and Anne Hathaway do a good job?

Comments (98 total) Add your comment
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  • sp

    James Franco is pathetic. Instead of admitting he was a hideous Oscar co-host , he is blaming Anne Hathaway’s energetic personality ( which was most needed to raise up that boring Oscar show). Franco was very unprofessional because he spent most of his time taking Oscar pictures and putting them on his twitter account, while his co-host was doing his job and her job. James is constantly making up excuses and pointing fingers at everyone else ( first, it was the writers, now it is Hathaway ) , but himself . This is beyond annoying . It really proves he is not a nice individual, and he will throw anyone under the bus to make himself look good . Seriously, this guy needs to go away for a year ( or more ) and grow some balls.

    • nick


      • True Chizz, this news is Jank!!!!!

        I do believe he does have a point about people not caring about the Oscars until it isn’t done the way they expect. I still like him, he would have made a good alternate for Anakin Skywalker

    • Erin

      Excellent post. I agree 100%

    • nick

      in fact, i didn’t even care that he was weak at the oscars. who cares. he’s a great actor. but now, he’s just a stupid nutless baby.

    • TS

      What a bunch of BULLIES on this forum. I bet all of you celebrated when that poor girl in MA killed herself. BULLIES!!!!!

      • nick

        not enough exclamation points.

    • Juan

      You gotta be kidding me, are u serious? He was just joking about Anne Hathaway, it clearly says ‘he jokes’. Geez.

      • kate

        He absolutely was NOT joking. Watch the clip. He wasn’t kidding when he blamed his own lack luster low energy performance on Anne’s high energy.

    • Angie

      @SP You are posting the same thing in all of the blogs. Now people care about the Osacars. I do not think sooo.I did think Anne was tooo cheerful. But they were good as host. James should of won the oscar!

    • Many

      Yes you are posting this every where!. You are so pathetic. hahaha

    • Sean Elliott

      SP, you make me sick. Oh, forget it. You’re inhuman and don’t deserve an explanation of why you are beneath humanity.

    • lee

      Are you posting this in very blog. LOL! haha!..everyone know who you are LOL…at least try and change your words a bit so ppl wont recognize you LOL…well I guess you need balls to be able to do that …? LOL!


    • Mike

      Dude, he was being facetious. Jesus, who put a plug in this one?

    • Robert

      That is a very stupid comment. James knows he messed up. He didn’t say it was Anne Hathway’s fault.

      You need to just relax. It’s not like what he does impacts you in anyway.

  • Teya

    Dearest James, Anne Hathaway had nothing to do with your sluggish, aloof, and all around disinterested performance. Had she not compensated for your lack of enthusiasm the telecast would have been that much more worse. Sit down James.

    • Nicole

      Agreed. I love James but he should just admit he was bad. Lmao at douche-nozzle. I counter that with douche-bucket. James you’re being a douche-bucket

  • Chichi

    Douche-nozzle, Anne saved that hostin gig from being an entire bomb.

    • LOL

      Anne should host solo in the future. She can do it all.

  • California

    I have to agree. Since the Oscars, I’ve really started to dislike Franco. I don’t think he has handled the post-Oscars stuff very well. There was his lashing out at the NYU campus paper writer, then the writer for the Oscars, and now this. He didn’t do well at the Oscars and he hasn’t handled it well since then and I’m liking him less and less.

    • dee

      agreed.I used to like him before the Oscars. I think he just needs to take a nap at this point, he’s doing way too many stuff and he’s not handling it well.

      • Mike

        That’s ridiculous. It was an awards show. He was fantastic in “127 Hours,” yet people are judging him over a hosting gig. GET OVER IT TOOL.

    • Eliza

      Actually, it was the Yale Daily News (sorry, yeah… nitpicky, I know)

      • California

        Ah Thank You!! =) I couldn’t remember for the life of me! (should have done a google search)

    • Rob

      I agree. I did not care that he bombed at the Oscars but he just seems like a douche in the way that he has handled it. I liked when he tweeted a picture of Bruce Vilanch with Perez-Hilton-style writing on it and then quickly deleted it, and then put it back up because screen grabs had already been taken and spread around the Internet so it was too late anyways.

  • bruno

    franco’s totally right. he did the best with the crap he was given and YES, he was standing next to the pep rally queen.

    • Many

      Thank you. Yes like a cheerleader hahaha

    • kate

      Nonsense he did his best. And don’t blame Anne. Franco would have looked ‘low energy’ next to a corpse.

  • KC

    Sure Anne’s performance was pretty faked, but James, yours was half baked.

    • lee

      better half baked than pretty faked…LOL!

  • Buffy Freak

    Oh come on already…I know the producers were going for a younger demographic by hiring younger hosts. But then they go and have Kirk Douglas come out and ramble on for 15 minutes? They keep Bruce Vilanch as the head writer? Seriously, his jokes would’ve sounded old and stale if Bob Hope had done them during his hosting tenure. Anne Hathaway’s douchechill-inducing parody somg sung to the tune of a song from Les Miz? Yeah that’s gonna get the kiddies to tune in! The show was a mess and Franco didn’t help matters. But to blame him for it is kind of ridiculous. He only looked as bored as the rest of us did.

    • sp

      Buffy Freak, their is no excuse for James Franco to throw any of the Oscar people under the bus because he failed miserably ( and he didn’t commit to his job ) . The bottom line is , Franco is not a man . He is still a spoiled bratty 10 year-old. Notice, Anne Hathaway is being classy. She is not blaming the writers , the producers , nor James Franco.

      • Mary Sue

        Oh please sp – get a life already. Trust me, if you gave something important half as much energy as you are giving James Franco you might be able to get a job doing something that doesn’t allow you the time to sit on the EW message boards all day.

      • the truth

        Mary Sue is probably some unfulfilled haus frau who wants to sleep with Franco. He can do no wrong in her eyes.

      • Mary Sue

        Nope – I just don’t get why people are so up in arms over something so meaningless. I mean who cares? There have been better hosts than Franco sure, but he’s not the worst host they’ve ever had. And again, I don’t look to the hosts to entertain me – that isn’t their job in my opinion.

  • Sanjay

    I’m just kind of over Franco. It’s not the end of the world that the hosting gig didn’t go well. It’s not even that big of a deal. But I find his whole nonchalant, I’m getting 8 degrees simultaneously so I’m too smart for any of this and any of you attitude obnoxious.

  • Grubi

    @sp, Teya, and Chichi,

    If you three actually listen to what Franco is saying, you might come to the conclusion that he isn’t calling Hathaway bad. He is saying they were not a good pairing. I might even venture to say that he is inferring that Hathaway would have been better on her own. He is saying that her enthusiasm (which I’ll point out, Franco never says is a bad thing) just didn’t mesh well with his laid back style.

    @ sp specifically,
    Out of everyone in Hollywood, you call Franco pathetic? Do you have any clue how much stuff this dude does? And to call him not nice? Out of all the interviews I’ve read, people have nothing but nice things to say about him. Also, when he blamed the writers, he was right. It was terrible writing. Even the best Oscar host can’t save a show with terrible writing. And finally, as for your “unprofessional” accusation, he was asked by the Academy to try to appeal to a younger demographic. He tried to do that by using Twitter and making videos. So it didn’t work. So what? At least he tried something new. The guy can’t be in two places at once, so if he is doing the Twitter thing, like the Academy asked him to, he is obviously going to be MIA for some of the show. Before you tell Franco to grow some balls, maybe you should take a look at that fact that he has the balls to actually do different things such as write his own book, act on a soap opera, act in numerous movies, host the Oscars, obtain multiple graduate degrees, and teach graduate students himself.

    End of rant.

    • Grubi

      I’m going to go ahead and address the above rant to Sanjay, Nick, California, and KC as well because they posted while I was still typing and obviously don’t understand what Franco is trying to do or say either.

    • sp

      Grubi, I don’t think you understand. It is never cool to throw people under the bus to make yourself look good. James is not taking full responsibility for his actions ( or shall I say lack of action ). He truly bombed from begining to end , and he doesn’t want to admit it.

      • Grubi

        No i don’t think you understand. He isn’t throwing people under the bus (other than the writers, who deserve it). If you read what I wrote, you will see that I said that. Also, you are write about one thing. He should probably admit that he didn’t do the best job. However, putting the entire debacle on his lap is unfair and he has a right to point that hout.

    • fancypants

      Who cares how many things he does? Maybe he should try to do a few of them well instead of sleepwalking through a few of them. He shouldn’t commit to things and then be less than mediocre. Can anyone (including JF) even answer why he repeatedly failed to even LOOK at Hathaway while he was co-hosting? He practically ignored her.

      • Grubi

        Have you seen any of the other stuff he has done? 127 Hours? His art? Read his book? Just because he didn’t (through the audience’s eyes at least) do the best job hosting the Oscars doesn’t mean he is sleepwalking through everything he does. Also, just because he didn’t host the Oscars the way you wanted him to host them doesn’t mean he wasn’t doing his best. Like I said before, his STYLE is not suited for hosting the Oscars. He was too laid back. The Oscars tried a different type of host. It didn’t work. Lets move on.

      • Mary Sue

        Speak for yourself fancypants – I thought he was fine as a host. Let’s face it – the hosting gig at the Oscars is lame – you are there to introduce people and that SHOULD be it. The fact that people are expecting the hosts to “entertain” is part of the problem that everyone complains about. The Oscars aren’t a “variety show” – they are an awards ceremony.

      • @Grubi and Mary Sue

        Yes, I’ve seen his “art” and read some of his fiction, both of which have been critically panned. Moreover I’ve sat next to him in class and he’s not that impressive as a student. It’s pretty clear he’s only gotten into top schools because he’s a celebrity. He was panned as an Oscar host and rightly so….it seems neither of you can get this through your thick skulls because you’re so enamored by his “style”. He is not immune to criticsm because he does a bunch of stuff.

      • @Mary Sue

        And in your comment you actually have the NERVE to redefine what the Oscar host job is? You’re laughable. NEWSFLASH: The host is supposed to entertain people, it’s been that way since the 40s!

      • Mary Sue

        Newsflash – times change and THAT is exactly WHY every year people pi$$ and moan about the host.

      • Grubi

        @ @Grubi and Mary Sue,

        Yeaaaaaaaaaah, I’m gonna go ahead and not believe that you have had any contact with James Franco whatsoever. Considering almost everything you said is wrong, you are most likely making that up. For one thing, neither his art or book were “critically panned.” The book received mixed reviews while the art received positive ones. As for him being unimpressive as a student, that is incorrect too since he has a 3.5 G.P.A., which, while not stellar, is definitely impressive when you consider how little time he has and how many different degrees he is getting. Just a tip: you probably shouldn’t try to prove your point by making stuff up next time.

      • fancypants

        I’m not making anything up. I’m a grad student at Yale and am taking some classes with him this semester. Unlike me you’ve never sat in a class with him and listened to his unimpressive musings. I know the truth but you never will. Maybe try and get into Yale next year if you can. And BTW, the 3.5 was at UCLA when he was a full time student. My entire comment above was correct. His short story collection, Palo Alto was panned.

      • fancypants

        Also people commend the Oscar host when they’re good: Jon Stewart, Hugh Jackman, Billy Crystal. Just b/c times have changed doesn’t mean the job of the Oscar host has changed; it hasn’t. If the hosts weren’t supposed to attempt to be entertaining and just read off names of presenters why did Franco and Hathaway release all those promos in which they were acting out scenarios, why did they have a monologue, why did they insert themselves into the years nominated films, why did Hathaway sing, why did Franco dress in drag? You have no clue what you’re talking about.

      • Grubi

        Even if you are telling the truth about Yale (which I am still not entirely sure of), you are still wrong. Palo Alto was not “widely panned.” It received mixed reviews.

      • fancypants

        Those mixed reviews still support the idea that he is not above criticism. Just because he does a lot of things does not mean people should be easily impressed. People are correct to judge the quality not the quantity. I have no reason to make up anything about Yale. I’m just a Yale grad student. It’s not like I said I’m some millionaire who’s also published.

      • Grubi

        I was not saying he wasn’t above criticism. Of course he isn’t. Nobody is. And I’m not denying that he didn’t suck at the Oscars. He did. I’m just saying that
        1. He isn’t blaming Hathaway.
        2. He did his best, but his style didn’t work.
        3. Giving Franco a small portion of the blame is fine because he took a risk and it didn’t pan out. But the writers, (particularly Bruce Vilanch), deserve most of criticism because no matter who is up there, if the writing ain’t good, the show won’t be good.

      • lee

        Oh sure fancypants we believe you..LOL!….

        if in fact your pants are really that fancy! LOL

      • fancypants

        I never once said he blamed Hathaway. But I don’t think he even tried that much. He barely ever looked at Hathaway while she was craning her neck in his direction. How is that a “style”. He just came off as disaffected and rude. And Anne probably began to increase her energy to annoying levels probably b/c she realized he wasn’t offering much of anything to the audience.

  • Marianne

    I don’t think he’s necessarily blaming Anne for her energy. I think he’s trying to say that its hard to match her energy level.

    The Oscars weren’t the best, but I still don’t think they were the worst either.

  • Jeff from Jersey; yes New Jersey

    I*m in the minority on this issue. I believe Mr. Franco did a good job on the Oscars.

    • the truth

      Well, you’re from New Jersey where lack of taste is prevalent.

  • marash

    he’s definitely gay

    • Grubi

      intelligent post

  • MattS

    Am I the only person on the planet who didn’t think James did a “bad” job? Granted, it wasn’t the best, but he was pleasant and delivered all his lines as instructed. AND they made him dress in drag! I’d like to see anyone who is dissing his performance do one fifth as good as he did.

    • tracy bluth

      I agree. I thought Anne Hathaway was worse (and, like Grubi, I don’t think he’s throwing her under the bus here). She’s a good actress who should’ve won for Rachel Getting Married, but I’ve always found her too enthusiastic for my taste, such as in her SNL monologue.

    • lee

      No you’re not!.. the writing was awful, anne was too energetic, james was too relaxed, their monologue (oh wait what monologue?) was a copy from Crystal. EVERYTHING was awful!!!!

  • hepwa

    What nonsense! He hosted AN AWARDS SHOW!!! What do you people want as retribution, a NATO-sanctioned no-fly zone over his bloody house. Get the hell over it!

  • jt

    Mary Sue, you must not have a job or a life because you continue to write snarky comments defending James Franco . What a life you are living! And, James Franco doesn’t want you.

    James cannot blame Anne Hathaway for the ‘ stoned during the Oscars’ reputation because Director Danny Boyle thought he was stoned after meeting with James for the acting job of the ‘ 127 Hours’ film .

    I have no ill will towards James Franco. I just feel , he should have been classy about the Oscar debacle. A true professional actor ( or performer ) doesn’t publicly blame everyone else ( the writers, co-hosts, the producers,etc… ) , but not himself ( or not herself) for a disaster . Maybe he needs to realize that he shouldn’t have too many things on his plate, when he truly commits to something .

    • Grubi

      I love when people try to make their point by insulting the other person, like u just did to Mary Sue. The only point you made in the above post is that Boyle thought Franco was stoned when he first met him. This is true. It is also irrelevant. As Boyle soon realized, that is Franco’s demeanor, and as I pointed out above, Franco is not blaming Hathaway for his, as you call it, “stoned during the Oscars” reputation. He is just saying that they were not a good pairing because the more energetic and extroverted personality severely overshadowed the other introverted, more subdued one.

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