It is a common knowledge that James Franco was heavily criticized for his hosting duty at the Oscars earlier this year. But one thing that people don't know is the fact that the actor was not given a good material fit for such a big show.
In a new interview with Playboy, Franco said, "I felt kind of trapped in that material." He said he told the producers, " 'I don't know why you hired me, because you haven't given me anything. I just don't think this stuff's going to be good'." He personally liked the ones written by Judd Apatow but his stuff was not used eventually.
He particularly despised the part where he dressed as Marilyn Monroe. "I was so pissed about that I was deliberately going to fall onstage and hopefully my dress would fall off or something -- they couldn't blame that on me; I was in high heels," Franco told the mag.
He went on, "The plan had been that I was going to sing as Cher and then Cher was going to come out onstage; that got axed when Cher and the song from 'Burlesque' weren't nominated. I told them, 'Look, this is the thing people are going to talk about, the images they will take away from the show. I just didn't want to fight anymore, even when they said, 'You'll come out as Marilyn Monroe. It'll be funny.' Me in drag is not funny."
"Me in drag as Cher trying to sing like her is a thing. That didn't happen, so then I just didn't want to argue anymore," he added.
Defending his decision to go with the flow, Franco said, "As far as having low energy or seeming as though I wasn't into it or was too cool for it, I thought, Okay Anne [Hathaway] is going the enthusiastic route. I've been trained as an actor to respond to circumstances, to the people I'm working with, and not force anything. So I thought I would be the straight man and she could be the other, and that's how I was trying to do those lines. I felt kind of trapped in that material. I felt, This is not my boat. I'm just a passenger, but I'm going down and there's no way out."
Nevertheless, Franco was told that the reception was good. "After the show everybody was so happy, and Bruce Cohen, the show's producer, hugged me and said, 'Steve Spielberg just told me it was the best Oscars ever!' " he said.