James Franco Disses Oscar Writers


12 July 2011| No Comments on James Franco Disses Oscar Writers     by Sean Chavel


Five months after James Franco and Anne Hathaway bombed at the Oscars, the blame goes to Franco. As for me, I think the “Inception” parody of Franco and Hathaway opening door portal scenes was hysterical. Especially funny is when they run into Alec Baldwin who is a figment of their subconscious. Franco and Hathaway shared awkwardness from thereon. The awkwardness was, to me, amusing.

Franco complained however in the recent Playboy interview that Bruce Cohen and other producers left him out to dry when it came to the rest of the show. Franco recalls saying to Cohen, “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.”

The humiliating highlight was Franco coming out in drag as Marilyn Monroe (BTW, to me, Franco was funny in drag because he appeared with such indignity that I couldn’t help but laugh by how helpless he looked). He was supposed to perform opposite Cher while she belted out the “Burlesque” tune called “You Haven’t Seen the Last of Me,” but the song was cancelled when it failed to be nominated for Best Original Song as biz insiders had predicted. But the producers still pushed the drag bit even though it became unfit. “I just didn’t want to fight anymore,” Franco recalled.

His explanation continued, “I was going with their program. I wanted to do the material they gave me, not be one of the many cooks writing. There were a lot of cooks who shouldn’t have been cooking but were allowed to.” Franco got his manager to acquiesce the writing talent of Judd Apatow, but his jokes were disallowed as if it were against geezer Academy Award president rules because he wasn’t part of the committee.

Critics still went savage over Franco’s low energy. 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,” Franco lamented.

I believe him. I also believe that nobody could have stayed afloat with that material. Franco the actor, to me, still resonates. He deserved all the praise he received for “127 Hours” and “Pineapple Express.”

I read some user comments somewhere on the net that made an issue. Franco could have said no; he could have walked and saved himself the embarrassment. It’s his fault that he showed up with no individual approach on how to save things. To that I say, it would have been a bigger issue and embarrassment if he had walked. Producers in the industry would have blackballed him for future projects. General audiences would have likely screamed coward for him signing up only to then abandon his duties. He might have been stigmatized as a flake out.

He’s a hunky dory, go with the flow guy. He might have been wrong for the Oscars, but the writing staff made it all wrong. For him, for Hathaway, for the presenters who took the stage. Will next year’s Oscars crumble from politically correct, safe writing as well?


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Sean Chavel

About The Author / Sean Chavel

Sean Chavel is a Hollywood based author and movie reviewer. He is the Executive Director of flickminute.com, a new website that has adapted the movie review site genre by introducing moodbased and movie experience based reviews.


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