James Franco Finally Comes Clean: Was He Really Under the Influence at the Oscars?

Critically panned Academy Awards host sits down with previous worst-host-ever David Letterman to compare notes on the experience

By Natalie Finn Mar 31, 2011 10:45 PMTags

David Letterman no longer has "Worst Oscar Host Ever" on his résumé, and he has James Franco to thank for that.

But still, who better than Letterman to sit down with the actor-performance artist for a postmortem on his critically panned Academy Awards hosting gig, which left viewers, if not changing channels, then scratching their heads and thinking more about Pineapple Express than 127 Hours.

Which brings us to the question of whether or not Franco was stoned when he lackadaisically helmed the 2011 Oscars with eager-beaver Anne Hathaway. Turns out, it was all Anne's fault!

"People said I was under the influence," Franco acknowledged during his Late Show interview, which airs tonight.

"Now why would they say that?" protested Letterman.

The incoming NYU instructor paused, then smiled and said, "I've thought about it. I think I know why, because—I love her—but Anne Hathaway is so energetic, I think the Tasmanian Devil would look stoned standing next to Anne Hathaway."

"Truthfully," Franco added, "and I haven't watched it back, maybe I had low energy. I actually played those lines as well as well as I could."

Ah, so maybe it was the writers' fault...

"It's complicated," Franco continued, explaining, as Letterman put it, why the hell he cares what people think. "Because no, I never dreamed of being the best Oscar host ever. It was not on my list of things to do. It doesn't mean I didn't care and it doesn't mean I didn't try hard, right?

"But here's the hypocritical thing: Leading up 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 won't shut up about it!"

Yeah, funny how that works.