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Oscars Go Young with New Co-Hosts Franco and Hathaway

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood November 29, 2010 at 5:59AM

Remember that electrifying moment at the 81st Oscars when Hugh Jackman plucked Anne Hathaway out of the Kodak Theatre audience onto the stage for a number? She was stunning in a white gown, sexy, funny, held her own, could trill the high notes.
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Thompson on Hollywood
Thompson on Hollywood

Remember that electrifying moment at the 81st Oscars when Hugh Jackman plucked Anne Hathaway out of the Kodak Theatre audience onto the stage for a number? She was stunning in a white gown, sexy, funny, held her own, could trill the high notes.

Well, so does the Academy. In a clear move to appeal to younger movie fans around the globe, Oscar telecast producers Bruce Cohen and Don Mischer's have selected Hathaway, 28, and James Franco, 32, as co-hosts of the 83rd Academy Awards. They're the youngest ever Oscar Show hosts, if not the weirdest. Franco has presented once and seems fearlessly capable of just about anything; he and Hathaway have both proven their live comedy chops by hosting Saturday Night Live. (Video below.)

Both stars have movies in release: Franco stars as climber Aron Ralston in Danny Boyle's 127 Hours (for which he is expected to get a nomination, which presents a twist), and has starred in this year's Eat Pray, Love, as well as drama Milk and comedy Pineapple Express. Hathaway has appeared on the Oscar show four times before; she stars in the just-opened Love & Other Drugs (which is unlikely to yield a nomination, as it was trashed by many critics) as well as Alice in Wonderland this year, and broke out in such films as The Princess Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada. Hathaway received a 2008 Oscar nomination for Rachel Getting Married. One can't help wondering who turned the Academy down: many hosts won't do two years in a row. Hugh Jackman passed again; who else? Tina Fey?

Stated Cohen and Mischer:


"James Franco and Anne Hathaway personify the next generation of Hollywood icons— fresh, exciting and multi-talented. We hope to create an Oscar broadcast that will both showcase their incredible talents and entertain the world on February 27. We are completely thrilled that James and Anne will be joining forces with our brilliant creative team to do just that."

ABC will broadcast the Oscar show on February 27.

This article is related to: Awards, Headliners, Video, Oscars, Anne Hathaway


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.