Oscar's Newest Golden Boy

BY Jeremy Kinser

March 01 2011 12:40 AM ET

I’m sure it’s harder work than it seems. Did you manage to have some fun?
I
had such a blast. It was truly one of the highlights of my career.
There were 722 people in the bleachers and they were like an audience on
Oprah’s "Favorite Things." I thought their heads would start exploding
when I announced Sandra Bullock or Colin Firth or Celine Dion. They went
bonkers. I loved it.

hich celebrity most surprised you last night?
Russell Brand. He was out of his mind. I loved every second of it. It’s the Oscars, so most people are in serious mode. He grabbed the microphone out of my hand and started addressing the crowd. It was hilarious. Another surprising moment was Eli Wallach. He also took the mike out of my hand and started speaking to the crowd. It’s moments like that on the red carpet that I live for.

Who did you find to be especially gracious last night?
Nicole Kidman was so lovely. I wasn’t surprised by it because she’s always gracious, but she was someone who was so composed and looked fantastic. I just love her and Keith Urban. They’re such a cute couple. And Mark Wahlberg, who I didn’t know before I met to do some stuff with The Fighter. He’s actually a really kind, considerate, and thoughtful guy. He’s very polite and sincere. It was a highlight of the awards season to get to know him a little bit. He looked fantastic last night on the red carpet.

What did you think last night’s show?
After I did the red carpet greeting I had to host a backstage show on Oscar.com, so I wasn’t 100% watching the show because I had to be commenting on what was going on backstage. What I saw of the hosts seemed fine to me but now I’m reading all of these comments tearing them apart. I loved that Anne Hathaway sang and James Franco came out in drag. They were going for it in a way that was admirable, but now that I’ve read these horrible reviews I feel I need to watch again and see if I misjudged it.

I thought they were both game. James was Tweeting during the show so we can probably anticipate some performance art project to come from his hosting.








Yeah. When you have someone whose sensibility is as out there as James Franco’s, the Oscar telecast doesn’t always allow for that kind of expression. My concern going in was whether he was a square peg being shoved into a round hole. I’m glad they took a chance on them. I think it’s fun to have new people do it.

Tags: film

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