Remember when James Franco co-hosted this year's Oscars looking bored, unhappy and generally tuned-out? Turns out he was pretty much all three.
In an interview published in Playboy magazine and quoted at length in the Huffington Post, Franco reveals some of the reasons for his deadly dull performance alongside an enthusiastic Anne Hathaway at the Oscars broadcast.
Like many an actor before him, Franco blames the writers. "In the last week, when we really started focusing on the script for the live show and did a run-through, I said to the producer, 'I don't know why you hired me, because you haven't given me anything,' " he said. " 'I just don't think this stuff's going to be good.' "
Bruce Vilanch, the longtime Oscar writer who contributed to the script, had already blamed Franco for being too busy to focus on rehearsals; Franco lashed out at Vilanch via Twitter. They've reportedly made up, but Franco still blames "a lot of cooks who shouldn't have been cooking."
Franco also bemoaned the bizarre moment when he appeared on stage dressed as Marilyn Monroe. "I was so ---- 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."
And he added: "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.' "
Ultimately, Franco says, he decided to step back and let Hathaway generate all the energy. "I felt, This is not my boat. I'm just a passenger, but I'm going down and there's no way out."