updated 02/23/2011 AT 3:05 PM ET
•originally published 02/23/2011 AT 4:15 PM ET
So will fellow emcee Anne Hathaway show him some love by throwing her vote his way for Best Actor in 127 Hours?
Unfortunately for Franco, she’s not saying.
“Actually, the ballot says on the front: ‘Important, do not tell anyone, especially The Hollywood Reporter,” she laughs during an interview with magazine, the pair’s first together, before adding diplomatically, “I’m a big fan of James’s performance.”
As for what viewers can expect come Sunday night, THR reports that organizers will stage the Oscars as a visual journey through movie history, with Franco and Hathaway travelling back in time in an opening montage. They’ll end up inside a digitally-enhanced “virtual” set.
One thing we won’t see: The actors ribbing their fellow thespians, a la Ricky Gervais at the Golden Globes.
“I can guarantee that if you’re looking for someone to call people out, we’re not your hosts,” Hathaway, 28, says. “I think that humor is really difficult to pull off, and I’m not particularly adept at it. I wouldn’t feel comfortable doing it. Also, I don’t mean to sound overly serious, but I am the youngest host in history and I have no business being cynical or calling anyone out. I certainly haven’t earned the right to do that.”
Asked whether Aron Ralston, whom Franco, 32, played in 127 Hours, might show up on stage at some point, the actor says, “Who knows? Aron is full of surprises. I’m sure he’ll find his way into the show.”
Franco – who says he’s just learning how to use Twitter and “it might be fun” to try Tweeting during the show – also says he’s managed to reduce some of the pressure of being a nominee.
“Well, nobody is shy about saying Colin Firth is going to win [for The King’s Speech],” he says. “I’ve accepted that. By hosting, it makes it easier to go to the events and not feel like a total schmo.”
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