Anne Hathaway and James Franco: What Is Their Claim To Fame?
Just who are the 2011 Oscar hosts, Anne Hathaway and James Franco?
The Academy Awards took an interesting turn as far as hosts go this week when they announced actors Anne Hathaway and James Franco would co-host this year’s show. While they have had actors host in the past, many of them have had hosting experience or were better known as comics. Neither Hathaway nor Franco is known for this sort of thing. Let’s take a little deeper look and find out a little more about these two.
Anne Hathaway started acting when she was 16 years old when she won a role in the shortly live TV show Get Real. Her movie career got started when she got her first role in the movie The Other Side of Heaven. Before production on that movie even began she auditioned for the director Garry Marshall for the lead role in The Princess Diaries. Marshall actually gave her the role after one audition because she fell off her chair during the audition and he believed her clumsiness made her the perfect choice for the role. The Princess Diaries was a huge hit that took Anne Hathaway from being an unknown to being someone everyone was talking about. She got rave reviews for her part in the movie and the sequel was immediately put into pre-production. Her next few projects where family friendly pieces including the Princess Diaries 2. In 2005, four years after The Princess Diaries put her on the map, Hathaway took on a role that took her career in a different direction. She started in the R rated Havoc about a spoiled rich girl who gets involved with drugs, sex and gangs in South Central L.A. The role found Anne Hathaway nude, cursing and the polar opposite of what she was in the Princess Diaries. She claimed she was not trying to reach an older audience, but that she felt nudity was sometimes something you need to do as an actor.
After Havoc her career really took off. She stared in the multi-Oscar nominated Brokeback Mountain (she was nominated for a SAG award for her part in the movie) and followed it with the very well received The Devil Wears Prada. Her role in 2008’s Rachel Getting Married found her nominated for just about every acting award you can get. She won about half of them and was suddenly one of the biggest stars in the world. Hathaway has continued to appear in very popular movies, most recently Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland and the just released Love and Other Drugs (where she takes that being nude thing to a whole new level). Anne Hathaway has sung in choirs and on some film soundtracks so we might see her sing at the academy awards.
James Franco may find himself being the co-host of the Oscars while also being nominated for Best Actor for his work in the new movie 127 Hours. While it seems that Franco just came into the public eye he has been around doing good work for a long time. His first role came in 1999 on the short lived TV show Freaks and Geeks. He had a few small roles in other shows/movies then hit it big when he won the role of Harry Osborn in 2002’s Spider-Man. For the next few years James Franco bounced between smaller independent movies and big movies including both Spider-Man sequels. In 2007 he had a small role in Knocked Up as himself and a large role in the controversial In the Valley of Elah. He officially teamed up with Seth Rogen in 2008 for the hit Pineapple Express. Later that same year he would star in Milk for which he was nominated for several acting awards including a SAG award. He did win the Independent Spirit Award for that role.
James Franco then decided he wanted to push himself and try different things. He went back to school to study film, took a role on the TV soap General Hospital and published a book of short stories. He has also appeared on the hit comedy show 30 Rock. His two newest projects could not be farther apart in subject matter. In Your Highness he joins Danny McBride and Natalie Portman for a slapstick/comedy/action movie about a knight trying to save his father’s kingdom. In 127 hours he portrays Aron Ralston the hiker who finds himself trapped under a bolder and must sever his own arm if he wishes to live. 127 hours is directed by Oscar winner Danny Boyle and Franco is already being nominated at various festivals for his role. There is almost no doubt he will be a serious contender for the Best Actor Oscar this year.
Anne Hathaway and James Franco are both veteran actors who took different paths to their success, but both are charming, funny and have a natural charisma. How well they will do as hosts of the 2011 Oscars remains to be seen, some people thrive and others bomb, but I applaud the Academy for trying something a little different. These two just might pull off something great.
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