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James Franco on the Oscars: "There were a lot of cooks who shouldn't have been cooking"

Anybody who saw the Oscars this year could tell something just wasn't right. From the very beginning of the show, co-hosts Anne Hathaway and James Franco were awkward and their lines were, frankly, pretty horrible. Many have blamed Franco for the debacle, saying that he looked stoned and acted too low key throughout the many sketches and gags. In the latest issue of Playboy magazine, Franco speaks up, explaining some of the backstage turmoil that led to the rather awkward Oscars telecast this year. 

"It’s hard to talk about because it’s like assigning blame—not a fun thing to do," explained Franco. "For three or four weeks we shot the promos and the little film that played in the opening. 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. I just don’t think this stuff’s going to be good."

When pressed about how "bored" and "out of it" he appeared, especially dressed as Marlyn Monroe, Franco said he kind of gave up after a while: "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. I was going with their program; I wanted to do the material they gave me, not be one of the many cooks doing the writing. There were a lot of cooks who shouldn't have been cooking but were allowed to. There were some cooks my manager tried to bring in, like Judd Apatow, who wrote some very funny stuff that wasn’t used."

The interview is a good read, spanning many of Franco's recent career decisions outside of the Oscars and even delving into topics like what words like "straight" and "gay" have meant, historically. He did touch on his upcoming role in Rise of the Planet of the Apes, arguing that he has no idea and has no control over how good it will be.

"They haven’t shown me the movie yet, so I don’t know what the result is," said Franco. "I did reshoots, and it sounds to me the final movie will be different from the screenplay, which had a lot of character development. The movie seems to be more action now. I went and did my job, and I’m supposed to be a scientist. I feel pretty confident that I did that."

I must say, there's something fascinating about Franco's view on the world. He's just trying to do his own thing. Check out the Playboy article to read the rest. 

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