March 22nd, 2011
01:02 PM ET
Viewers weren't the only ones who were critical of James Franco's Academy Awards hosting gig. Longtime Oscars writer Bruce Vilanch admits that even he thought Franco was a snooze during the ceremony.
"No, he wasn't high," Vilanch tells Vulture of Franco's lackluster performance. "I was with him, and he wasn't high. And I asked him, 'Are you high, and can I have some?' And he said no to both."
So what was the problem?
"I don't think he realized how big a deal it is to do it until he was actually confronted with it," Vilanch says. "I think he thought he would kind of ... I don't know what he thought. I thought maybe it was a performance-art prank, and then I realized he sincerely wanted to do it."
Vilanch believes the everywhere actor might have been a bit too busy beforehand to fully prep for his hosting job.
"He has so many balls in the air, he didn't get to town till Thursday before the show on Sunday," he explains. "And so we e-mailed a lot. But we had a lot of meetings. He had a bunch of people who were writing for him, and if it had been him alone, it would have been different. But it was him and Anne Hathaway, and they both had to be serviced. So there was a lot of communication beforehand."
Despite the constant contact, Vilanch feels that Franco flopped. "He didn't get there," he tells Vulture.
Meanwhile, Franco didn't seem to appreciate Vilanch's remarks. The same day the interview ran, the "127 Hours" star tweeted a picture of himself with Vilanch, over which he scrawled, "James Franco f—ed up the Oscars. Trust me, I know comedy. I mean, come on, I write for Bette Midler."
Vulture reports that Franco deleted the tweet shortly afterward.
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