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James Franco and Anne Hathaway once joined forces to host the 2011 Oscars. But many were unhappy with their performances in the role almost as soon as they took center stage. In recent years, Hathaway seems to regret participating in the event, calling hosting with Franco a no-win situation.

James Franco and Anne Hathaway had trouble collaborating for the Oscars

James Franco and Anne Hathaway posing in a suit and a blue dress.
James Franco and Anne Hathaway | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Trouble for the 2011 Oscars hosts started long before Hathaway and Franco hit the stage. David Wild, who would write for the actors at the Oscars, was immediately taken back when the two were announced as hosts.

However, in his interview with The Ringer, he kept his feelings on the matter to himself. His silence would later teach him a valuable life lesson.

“The one thing you learn in life is that you have to react and address something as it’s happening. You’ve got to listen to that voice, or else,” Wild said.

From the beginning, there were signs that Hathaway and Franco might have trouble being at the center of the ceremony. The two, for instance, had trouble collaborating, bringing vastly different approaches to the project. Franco, in particular, was constantly on the move despite his hosting duties.

“He always seemed to be on a flight and it was very hard for me to get a hold of him,” producer Jordan Rubin said. “That was a red flag.”

Meanwhile, Les Miserables star Anne Hathaway was the opposite.

“She showed up ready to play and committed 110 percent,” he continued. “And he [James Franco] was a great guy but often looked like he had just woken up from a nap.”

Their approaches would also occasionally clash whenever Hathaway would propose ideas to Franco.

“Again, this is a memory, but [she] was like ‘Maybe you should try that,’ and he was like, ‘Don’t tell me how to be funny,’” Rubin recalled.

Because of this and several other factors, Hathaway and Franco were seen as one of the worst Oscars hosts in history.

Why hosting the Oscars with James Franco was a no-win situation for Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway is well aware of the backlash she and Franco received for hosting the Oscars. But she asserted that she looked for advice and critique before the time was come to lead the ceremony. However, most of her collaborators told Hathaway there was nothing she needed to change about her act.

“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,” she said according to People.

Hathaway also claimed that Franco wasn’t much help either, who she alleged didn’t give her anything to work with.

The situation all came ahead at the Oscars, where Hathaway lived out her worst-case scenario.

“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,” Hathaway said. “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.”

James Franco didn’t regret hosting the Oscars


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Although Hathaway might feel differently, Spider-Man actor Franco once shared that he had no regrets when it came to hosting the Oscars.

“I’m glad I did it. I think it’s funny that people want to slam me for that because I don’t think it’s genuine,” Franco told Shortlist. “I don’t think people really care about the Oscar host, but it’s something that they feel they can go after me for, and they have. But they’re doing it for different reasons.”