In an unexpected Oscar turn two years ago, [movieperson id="257378"]Anne Hathaway[/movieperson] joined host Hugh Jackman onstage for a parody of "Frost/Nixon." And [movieperson id="264077"]James Franco[/movieperson]'s entire career, from starring in "General Hospital" to appearing as a pillow-humping version of himself in "30 Rock," can be filed under the category of "What will that dude do next?"
Well, as unexpected as it may be, next up for both Franco and Hathaway is co-hosting the 83rd Annual Academy Awards next year. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences made the announcement on Monday (November 29), hours after rumors of the actors' involvement surfaced.
Beyond his hosting gig, Franco figures to play a prominent part in the ceremony. The 32-year-old is considered a lock for a best-actor nomination for his turn as a trapped hiker in "127 Hours," the Danny Boyle-directed drama that's also expected to nab a Best Picture nod. Hathaway, 28, meanwhile, remains a long-shot in the best-actress category for "Love & Other Drugs," a film that received mixed reviews and reeled in just $14 million over the extended Thanksgiving holiday.
Hiring Franco and Hathaway as hosts certainly mark a strategic turn by the Academy, which has long been accused of being out-of-touch with the young pop-culture mainstream. A quick scan of the last two decades of Oscar history shows that not one host has even been as young as in his or her 30s when emceeing the show.
Most recently, 64-year-old Steve Martin and 51-year-old Alec Baldwin assumed hosting duties, notching the show's best ratings in five years.
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