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2011 Oscars James Franco-Anne Hathaway debacle was "the world’s most uncomfortable blind date"

  • The writers behind the 83rd Academy Awards, which turned 10 in February, recalled one of the most awkward pairings ever. “It was like the world’s most uncomfortable blind date between the cool rocker stoner kid and the adorable theater camp cheerleader,” says writer David Wild, who reveals that the first option for hosting that year's ceremony was Justin Timberlake. “I had been writing with Justin and I remember the producers said to me, ‘Do you want to do a soft ask if he’d host the Oscars?’” Wild recalls. Timberlake was intrigued, he says. “He said that he’d love to do it, but he thought it was a year too early for him. He wanted to wait until after The Social Network had gone through an awards season.” So Franco and Hathaway were enlisted in hopes of capturing the youth demographic. But former The Good Place writer Megan Amram, who was in hear early 20s when she was tapped as an Oscars writer, was baffled by the choice. “I thought that it sounded at the time like someone had run pop culture through an algorithm and spit out this thing on paper that sounded like it would appeal to the youth,” she says. “But in practice, it was very random.” In recounting the night, The Ringer's Mara Reinstein notes "there was no face-palming behind-the-scenes moment that caused the night to spiral. More like death by a thousand paper cuts. Or a series of clues that led to a crime scene—witnessed by about 65 million people in more than 225 countries around the world."

    TOPICS: Oscars, Anne Hathaway, David Wild, James Franco, Megan Amram