Home Celebrity James Franco File: No “Oz” Yet, No Lindsay Photo Shoot, And No...

Where did James Franco go after the Oscars? Was he stoned during the show? Did he really participate in a sexy photo shoot with Lindsay Lohan? New York. And no, no, and no. As I wrote in an earlier post, Franco took the 10:40 flight from LA to NYC last night so he could write a paper and get back to school. He wound up missing all of the Oscar festivities. Remember, he did the c0-hosting gig as a favor to producer Bruce Cohen. So much for that. James told me he also is not doing a sexy photo book with Lindsay Lohan.

“Yeah, right,” Franco emailed me. “I’m also doing a sports book with Obama.” He was also not stoned during the show as Gawker insisted. When Franco smiles, especially into bright stage lights, he squints. He is a squinter. It’s absolutely bewildering how the media can make a jump from a movie role, as Franco’s was in “Pineapple Express,” and land it that he would actually be getting high before hosting the Oscars. This is a guy who doesn’t even drink. Unbelievable! One more thing: Franco will probably star in the Sam Raimi prequel to “The Wizard of Oz.” But I am advised that all the reports over the weekend are premature. There is no deal yet, and, my sources–not Franco–say it’s far from a done deal. “There is a lot to be worked out.”

I did think that Franco and especially Anne Hathaway did an exceptional job given its parameters. Frankly, the Academy simply refuses to give the public what it wants–a comedian. They want Billy Crystal. Indeed, I would suggest they secure Jimmy Fallon now for next year. But bringing in actors is always going to be a problem, especially people who have pre-existing schedules. They were lucky with Hathaway; she was free. Franco was busy with school and other projects. He made it work. They each deserve kudos.

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Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.
10 replies to this post
  1. I never cared for Billy Crystal and every other comic has bombed bigtime, except maybe Steve Martin. Anna and James were quite good. It was Kirk Douglas who ruined the timing, and it was hard to get things back on track. But overall, a very good show. I was delighted that Chuck Workman’s dreadful film compilations were gone.

  2. Damn, Friedman.. it’s one thing to kiss ass but another to kiss ass to the wrong people. Like most reviewers said the day after — THEY SUCKED!!!! The worse hosted Oscars ever. Just tell the truth. Billy Crystal did better in his 5 min monologue than these 2 scripted idiots did in 2.5hrs. Get Ricky Gervais, Joan Rivers, Jimmy Fallon, Billy —- ANYBODY can do better than 2 schleps did.


  3. If one is to believe Anne’s comments to Oprah that they were “playing off each other’s energy”, where Hathaway’s was bubbly and happy and Franco’s was anything but then they succeeded and he will probably be nominated for an Emmy for his “performance”! Whatever the intent was, I felt sorry for Anne who seemed to be carrying the hosting gig all by herself, who gave it her all.

  4. Totally agree with you Roger that Anne Hathaway and James Franco deserve kudos. Since Franco seems to be in the line of some’s fire I would say that he was the perfect gentleman, and the perfect straight man, to Anne. He was Ricky to Anne’s Lucy. The charm to the pairing was that Anne could be gushing and over the top while James played it cool with a sort of wry smile directed both at Anne and at the proceedings — a perfect reflection of the ambivalence we feel towards the Academy Awards. Parts of us ooh and ahh, while the rest look skeptically askance and smile at the hoopla. Sure, stand up comics are great. So I liked the way the producers brought on Billy Crystal for a good laugh or two. But I also liked the idea of movie star hosts to what is a movie star event. And I did not need both hosts to gush simultaneously and repetitiously. Franco was cool, aloof, and masculine in a tradition that runs from Steve McQueen to Leonardo DiCaprio, and was charming in the tradition of Cary Grant on through to Hugh Jackman.

  5. It wasn’t his smile. His behavior was very bizarre in the pre-show interview on ABC. It wasn’t even 8:30 EST and I thought he was stoned. He also seemed indifferent during the parts of the show that didn’t put me to sleep. Please don’t make excuses for his poor behavior.

  6. Your nepotism is showing, Rog. The ‘hosts’ of this year’s Oscar telecast were the worst ever and most certainly do not deserver kudos from anyone.

  7. Roger it was bad. Franco looked bad as the show went on. What were you seeing. Ann do alrgiht. Someday the oscars maybe will not be on tv the way it’s going now.

  8. I adore james, but he does too many things and not everything is that good. This wasn’t one of them, his writing sucks too. But he really is a GREAT actor could be an iconic one. Lesson for James is just don’t spread yourself too thin dude!

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