Writers open up about the James Franco-Anne Hathaway 2011 Oscars hosting debacle

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Los Angeles, Apr 15 (PTI) The writers behind the infamous James Franco and Anne Hathaway's Oscars monologue in 2011 have opened up about what went wrong, likening the Hollywood stars gig as 'the world's most uncomfortable blind date'.

A lot has been spoken about the much mocked hosting by Hathaway and Franco, both rising stars in Hollywood at that time, but it is for the first time that the writers have given insight into what actually happened behind the scenes for the 83rd annual Academy Awards.

'It was like the world's most uncomfortable blind date between the cool rocker stoner kid and the adorable theater camp cheerleader,' David Wild, one of the writers that year, told the Ringer about Franco and Hathaway's disastrous monologue.

The two stars, who had never hosted the Oscars, were brought in by the producers to appeal to the younger demographic after Justin Timberlake turned down the opportunity. Critics panned the gig for the mismatched energies of its hosts as Franco seemed disinterested and Hathaway over enthusiastic.

Wild said Franco seemed to revel in their contrasting personalities and 'wanted to play it as a buddy-cop movie with two opposite characters,' Wild said. There was also some friction where Hathaway offered an acting suggestion to Franco, though the moment wasn't overly contentious.

Wild said Franco and Hathaway never bonded.

Jordan Rubin, another writer for the show, said Hathaway made herself readily available for the months long prep.

'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.' 'The Good Place' co-executive producer Megan Amram, who consulted on the ceremony, said during the prep, Hathaway pulled her into a storage closet to make sure her material would feature a female perspective.

'She wanted to make sure it was positively reflecting women. I remember thinking that it was amazing that this was important to her and weird that I was in a closet with Anne Hathaway.' Franco, who was nominated in the acting category for his role in '127 Hours' that year, was hard to get a hold of as he was busy shooting movies and studying.

'He always seemed to be on a flight and it was very hard for me to get a hold of him,' Rubin said. 'That was a red flag.' And once the duo got started working together, it was apparent they had completely different personalities.

'She showed up ready to play and committed 110 percent. And he was a great guy but often looked like he had just woken up from a nap. It's almost like you're showing up to a tennis court and one person decided that they were going to play in the U.S. Open and the other wanted to play in jeans and just kind of hit a few balls,' Rubin recalled.

Both Franco and Hathaway have spoken about the incident in separate interviews.

Hathaway told People TV in 2019 that she had turned down the ceremony but Franco convinced her to reconsider her decision, something that she has come to regret now.

'When all the dust settled, I was just like, 'You've got to be kidding me'. Your first instinct is usually the right one, and all the reasons why I turned it down came true,' she recalled.

Franco later revealed that the reception to the ceremony led to issues between them but they patched up later. PTI BK BK BK