December 20, 2010 / 6:43 PM / 8 years ago

James Franco "surprised" to be Oscar co-host

NEW YORK (Reuters) - James Franco, who barely hit Hollywood’s A-list of actors before landing the coveted job of co-hosting the upcoming Oscars, said in an interview he was just as surprised as anybody that he was offered the job.

The 32-year-old actor told Entertainment Weekly magazine in an interview published on Monday that he first said “no” when Oscar producer Bruce Cohen asked him to co-host with Anne Hathaway when the top movie honors are given out February 27.

“I was very, very surprised, and my initial reaction was ‘No,’” Franco said in the interview. “Then I thought about it and I thought, well, why not? Because I’ll look bad? Well, I don’t care.”

Hesitation from his representatives and others who thought it was a bad idea because Franco is tipped for a possible best actor nomination for his “127 Hours” spurred him on even more.

“That always sparks something in me. So I said, ‘Yes, of course!’ Because that reaction that they have is based on conventional wisdom of what makes a good career. And that can be boring, really boring,” he told the publication.

Franco first gained wide recognition playing a villain in “Spider-Man 3” before receiving a Golden Globe best actor nomination for “Pineapple Express” in 2008 and acclaim in the same year playing the boyfriend of Sean Penn’s character, Harvey Milk, in “Milk.”

editing by Bob Tourtellotte

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