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James Franco explains why he 'looked stoned' at the Oscars

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By Ree Hines

Highly acclaimed actor and widely panned Oscar host James Franco is finally ready to address just what went wrong during his first and likely last stint leading Hollywood’s big event.

In a sneak peek from Franco’s pre-taped Friday night appearance on “Late Show,” the star explained why he looked like he wasn't really in the moment.

“People said I was under the influence,” Franco told David Letterman. “I've thought about it. I think I know why. I love her, but Anne Hathaway is so energetic, I think the Tasmanian Devil would look stoned standing next to Anne Hathaway.”

Not that Franco knows how he looked alongside Hathaway, as he admitted he still hasn’t watched footage from the show.

"Truthfully, I actually haven't watched it back,” Franco said. “Maybe I had low energy. I honestly played those lines as well as I could."

Whatever the cause, the actor was surprised by the fallout from his flubbed performance.

"It was never on my list of things to do,” he explained. “It doesn't mean I didn't care, and it doesn't mean I didn't try hard. Right? But here's the hypocritical thing — leading up to the Oscars, I couldn't hear enough about how, 'Oh, people don't care about the Oscars anymore. It's dead; it's old; it's at the end of a long awards season. Who cares about it?' Well, as soon as you don't host the way they want you to, they suddenly care and they won't shut up about it! Suddenly, I can't hear enough about a show they don't care about!"

As a veteran lackluster Oscar host, Letterman understood and even offered Franco some words of wisdom.

“Well, I can tell you what will happen,” he began. “For you there will be a modicum of embarrassment, which you shouldn’t feel. That will pass. You’ll go into a period of numbness, and then you’ll become — rightly so — defiant.”