Many will have their opinions about how James Franco and Anne Hathaway did in hosting the Academy Awards earlier this year. However, if you ask Franco’s friend and Pineapple Express (and Freaks and Geeks) co-star, Seth Rogen, he’d like to blame the Academy.
In anticipation of the U.K. release of the excellent Jonathan Levine directed 50/50, Rogen spoke to Shortlist.com about the film. One of the subjects that came up was whether he’d ever host the Oscars the way James Franco did. Rogen’s response was to laugh and say, “Not now.” Joking aside, he went on to talk about the Oscars hanging Franco out to dry with the material they gave him.
I think when you agree to do something like that, you put a certain amount of faith in the institution, hoping that they’ll take care of you, and I feel like they didn’t [take care of him]. Why hire James Franco and then give him Billy Crystal’s monologue? It was like, “Oh, we’ll hire these young hosts and then we’ll just do the same sh*t we do every f*cking year.” Which to me was really odd. I think they just approached it wrong. They didn’t think it through, and they were way underprepared. I think they hung him out to dry. So I wouldn’t do it unless they hired some better writers [laughs].
Rogen’s comments make sense. It seemed like the Oscars were aiming to appeal to a younger audience when bringing Hathaway and Franco in to host, but then went with more of the humor people have come to expect from the days when Billy Crystal hosted. As Crystal is returning next year, I suppose that won't be an issue.
Unrelated to the Oscars, Rogen was also asked about Katherine Heigl’s critical comments on Knocked Up. It’s an old subject, but still interesting. Back in 2007, Heigl spoke about the comedy in which she starred and was quoted as saying, “It paints the women as shrews, as humorless and uptight, and it paints the men as lovable, goofy, fun-loving guys. It exaggerated the characters, and I had a hard time with it, on some days. I’m playing such a bitch; why is she being such a killjoy? Why is this how you’re portraying women? Ninety-eight percent of the time it was an amazing experience, but it was hard for me to love the movie.”
For the most part, it sounds like Rogen is over it:
I think that at the time I was offended about it, but since then… I mean, you do so much press that, odds are, you’re going to say something f*cking stupid every once in a while. Of the million things I say every day, 400 of them are stupid as hell [laughs]. And any one of them might wind up in a newspaper or a magazine at any given time. So at this point I’m much more forgiving of that kind of thing.
Judd Apatow is doing a Knocked Up spin-off film that focuses on Paul Rudd and Leslie Mann’s characters. Rogen won’t be in This is Forty, however he did say he went to a table read and visited the set and that, “It’s really funny.”
You can read the full interview with Shortlist.com here.