James Franco spoke frankly to Krista Smith about his upcoming gig as co-host of the Academy Awards, telling her, "If it is the worst Oscars show ever, who cares?! It's like, it's fine. It's like one night. It doesn't matter. If I host the worst Oscar show in the history of the Oscars, like, what do I care?"
Franco met up with Smith, the senior west coast editor of Vanity Fair, while shooting the cover for the March issue of the magazine. He told her, "I'll try my best, but I don't see any shame ... because it's just like a movie. Like movies are so collaborative. As an actor, by the time the movie comes out, my work has been mediated by so many different people. It's like, I don't have ... I have some control over it. But if the movie comes out horrible it's only partially my fault. It's the same thing with the Oscars. Yeah, we're the hosts, but they've been working on this thing for six months. I hope they've been putting in good work."
Franco told Smith that he had telephoned Anne Hathaway to convince her she should join him as co-host. As he explained to Hathaway, who had already turned down the gig, "They know we're not Billy Crystal or Chris Rock. They're not asking us because they're expecting that. The show is going to be designed for what we can do." In a separate video shot that same night, Smith sat down with Hathaway who revealed that she had just met Franco for the first time.