AceShowbiz - This year's Academy Awards could see a completely different story if Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson took the hosting gig. The wrestler-turned-actor has just revealed that, before all the drama surrounding Kevin Hart's Oscars hosting gig, he was approached for the job.
The 46-year-old hunk claims he was The Academy's first choice to host the show this year after a Twitter user suggested the organization to pick the "Fast and Furious 6" actor for next year's ceremony. "I was their first choice to host this year, and my goal was to make it the most fun and entertaining Oscars ever," he tweeted on Wednesday, February 6.
He, however, had to turn it down because he was busy shooting "Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle". He further shared, "We all tried hard, but couldn't make it work since I'm shooting Jumanji." Admitting that he and The Academy "were super bummed" that he couldn't make it, he added, "but maybe one day down the road."
Ah mahalo dude, I was their first choice to host this year, and my goal was to make it the most fun and entertaining Oscars ever. We all tried hard, but couldn’t make it work since I’m shooting Jumanji. Academy and I were super bummed but maybe one day down the road 🥃 https://t.co/eiiMuBNOzb— Dwayne Johnson (@TheRock) February 6, 2019
The Academy has not commented on Johnson's revelation.
Hart, who is Johnson's co-star in "Jumanji 2", somehow didn't have the same scheduling conflicts and was tapped to host the Oscars, but eventually stepped down due to controversy over his old homophobic remarks. The Academy has since decided to go on with the show without a host, marking the first time since 1989.
Instead, presenters tapped to present the awards are going to take over the stage as the host. Those who have been announced to serve as presenters at the event are Jennifer Lopez, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Awkwafina, Constance Wu, Daniel Craig, Chris Evans, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Brie Larson, Charlize Theron, Tessa Thompson and Amandla Stenberg.
The ceremony will air live on ABC from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California on Sunday, February 24.
Speaking at the Television Critics Association winter press tour on Tuesday, February 5, new ABC Entertainment president Karey Burke remained optimistic that the show would attract viewers. She admitted the controversy surrounding Hart worried her at first, but it no longer does. "I have to be honest - it did. It no longer does," she said.
Burke saw it as a blessing in disguise since the talks about Hart's exit and anti-gay tweets kept the Oscars in the news. She shared, "I've ironically found that the lack of clarity around the Oscars has kept the Oscars really in the conversation and the mystery has been really compelling. People really care." She added, "... it's fascinating. That shows how relevant the Oscars are. I'm happy that it's part of the conversation." She also teased "an exciting opening" despite the show being hostless.