Anne Hathaway Turned Down Hosting Oscars But James Franco Convinced Her: It's a 'No-Win Situation'

"It's just a no-win situation," Anne Hathaway says of hosting the Oscars, which James Franco convinced her to do

Anne Hathaway is revealing what really went down before she hosted the Oscars with James Franco.

The two took on one of the industry’s hardest jobs in 2011 when they cohosted the 83rd Academy Awards. Hathaway, 36, and Franco, 40, were panned for their performance, with critics saying Hathaway had gone overboard while Franco lacked energy.

And the Serenity actress tells PEOPLE’s editor-in-chief Jess Cagle in the latest episode of The Jess Cagle Interview that she felt her take on the night was off hours before she hit the stage.

“He didn’t give me anything,” Hathaway agrees with Cagle about Franco in PEOPLE’s latest cover story. “God, I just remember the night before we’re about to go up there, and me turning to everyone and going, ‘Am I too much? This feels really big to me.’ And the producer just went, ‘No! Don’t do less. Do more if you need to.’ And I was like, ‘Oh okay, I guess it’s going great.’ And I didn’t realize what was happening about that whole thing.”

To read the full Anne Hathaway interview, pick up the latest issue of People on stands Friday.

But that’s not all she reveals. The Ocean’s 8 actress says it was Franco who really wanted her to take the gig, even though she had some reservations about it.

“Hey, can I dish some tea? I turned that gig down and James is the one that convinced me to do it,” Hathaway tells Cagle.

ABC's Coverage Of The 83rd Annual Academy Awards
  • Watch the full episode of The Jess Cagle Interview: Anne Hathaway, streaming now on, or download the PeopleTV app on your favorite device.

In the end, Hathaway says she learned to trust her instincts when it comes to stepping out of the box.

“When all the dust settled, I was just like, ‘You gotta be kidding me. Your first instinct is usually the right one.’ And all the reasons why I turned it down came true. All of them. It’s just a no-win situation. You’re not trained at this, how is this going to enhance your life? All of the reasons why. Even the people who do it spectacularly well — like Hugh Jackman, Jimmy Kimmel, Ellen DeGeneres — usually just get a ‘meh’ from everyone. It’s a really hard gig to stick the landing on.”

Serenity is in theaters now.

Related Articles