James Franco was not happy to dress in drag as Marilyn Monroe when he hosted the Oscars in February. In fact, he says in a new interview with Playboy that he knew his turn as co-host of the 83rd Academy Awards with Anne Hathaway was not going to be good.
"For three or four weeks we shot the promos and the little film that played in the opening. In the last week, when we really started focusing on the script for the live show and did a run-through, I said to the producer, 'I don't know why you hired me, because you haven't given me anything. I just don't think this stuff's going to be good,'" the actor told Playboy, according to USA Today.
The actor was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor for the film "127 Hours." Franco laments about a bit he did during the ceremony in which he dressed up as Marilyn Monroe. "The plan had been that I was going to sing as Cher and then Cher was going to come out onstage; that got axed when Cher and the song from 'Burlesque' weren't nominated. I told them, 'Look, this is the thing people are going to talk about, the images they will take away from the show," he said.
"I just didn't want to fight anymore, even when they said, 'You'll come out as Marilyn Monroe. It'll be funny.' Me in drag is not funny," Franco added. "There were a lot of cooks who shouldn't have been cooking but were allowed to. There were some cooks my manager tried to bring in, like Judd Apatow, who wrote some very funny stuff that wasn't used."
Franco got his big break with Apatow's beloved, but short-lived TV series "Freaks and Geeks" but didn't reach mainstream consciousness until 2002's "Spider-Man." He received an Oscar-nomination for his 2010 film "127 Hours" and has also appeared in films like "Milk," "Pineapple Express" and most recently in the medieval comedy, "Your Highness."
His latest film "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" is set for release on August 5. Franco also says that he tried to get a role on "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn" for a project he was working on at Yale.
"I had my agent tell [director] Bill Condon that I'd' be happy to do anything in 'Breaking Dawn,'" the actor told the magazine, according to Access Hollywood. "But that was because it was supposed to be part of a multimedia project at Yale. I was working with a Yale undergraduate who had written an autobiographical play about putting on a theatrical production of 'Twilight' in which I was a character."
He added, "So I was interested in 'Twilight' because I was going to be part of that play. I thought what a great connection it would be if I were also involved with the real 'Twilight.'"
The actor has talked about the hit vampire franchise in the past and even said he was unimpressed with a sex scene involving Bella Swan and her vampire lover Edward Cullen in the fourth Twilight book, Breaking Dawn, which is set to become a two-part film.
"I read a part of it," Franco told MTV News back in September 2010. "I think I got to the sex scene but it was so brief, I didn't even know it was actually the sex scene. It was kind of really a letdown after all that build-up."
Check out the trailer for "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" below.