When the Academy Awards airs on Sunday, Feb. 24, what is arguably the year's most prestigious awards show will go on without a host. It's an awkward situation that one former Oscars emcee couldn't help poking fun at with a tongue-in-cheek throwback. Anne Hathaway's Instagram about hosting the Oscars with James Franco remembers their infamous 2011 gig, and it's just as hilarious as you'd expect.
Back in 2011, the "Ocean's 8" star and her co-host James Franco received quite a bit of flack for their lopsided performance while hosting the 83rd annual ceremony. Franco was panned for lacking energy while critics said Hathaway went overboard in her delivery. Eight years later, it looked like the Academy Award winning actress was down to poke fun at herself and the whole situation in light of the fact that no one will be hosting the 91st awards show on Sunday, making it the first Oscars in 30 years not to have an emcee, per E! News.
Just hours before the event, Hathaway took to Instagram on Sunday, Feb. 24 to share a throwback photo of her and Franco making some awkward facial expressions at the 2011 event, along with an appropriately hilarious caption.
No matter what happens with today’s show, just remember, it’s already been worse. Happy Oscars!
It was a pretty relatable post for anyone who's ever had to own a situation gone wrong, and fans quickly flooded the comments section and Twitter with messages of support. TBH, the joke kind of makes me love Hathaway even more.
Jokes aside, it's pretty significant that the Oscars will be without a host, and I'm curious to see how the Academy plans to get around that while keeping the show running and entertaining the audience. Comedian Kevin Hart was originally slated to emcee the gig, but stepped down after a series of old homophobic tweets resurfaced. Hart later apologized for them on Ellen in January 2019.
While some previous hosts have been arguably one of the most memorable parts of the evening (I mean, who can forget Ellen DeGeneres breaking the internet with an Oscars selfie featuring the likes of Bradley Cooper, Julia Roberts, Brad Pitt, Meryl Streep, and Jennifer Lawrence?), and it's entertaining to have someone running the show while delivering jokes, there's also been a fair share of hosting gaffes. Jimmy Kimmel, who hosted the Oscars again last year, was memorably part of a Best Picture announcement debacle in 2017.
It's also a notoriously hard gig to do well, and in hindsight, Hathaway reflected on her regrets about agreeing to emcee the 2011 Oscars in a January interview with People and Entertainment Weekly.
"Hey, can I dish some tea? I turned that gig down and James [Franco] is the one that convinced me to do it," she said about her initial reservations about taking the job. "When all the dust settled, I was just like, 'You gotta be kidding me. Your first instinct is usually the right one.' And all the reasons why I turned it down came true. All of them. It’s just a no-win situation. You’re not trained at this, how is this going to enhance your life? All of the reasons why. Even the people who do it spectacularly well — like Hugh Jackman, Jimmy Kimmel, Ellen DeGeneres — usually just get a 'meh' from everyone. It’s a really hard gig to stick the landing on."
She also addressed her and her co-host's different energy levels, which was one of the main reasons they were criticized back in 2011.
"He didn’t give me anything," Hathaway remembered about working alongside Franco. "God, I just remember the night before we’re about to go up there, and me turning to everyone and going, 'Am I too much? This feels really big to me.' And the producer just went, 'No! Don’t do less. Do more if you need to.' And I was like, 'Oh okay, I guess it’s going great.' And I didn’t realize what was happening about that whole thing."
Eight years later, it looks like the Les Misérables actress is taking it all in stride with a helping of self-deprecating humor, and it's giving us just one more reason to love her.