James Franco and Anne Hathaway
To critics claiming that picking James Franco and Anne Hathaway to host this year's Academy Awards is shameless pandering to young audiences, Franco has only one thing to say: "Duh!"
At the Oscar nominees' luncheon on Monday, Franco — who's also a nominee for his role in 127 Hours — told press that he has no doubt that he and his co-host indeed were chosen to appeal to an audience the awards show has long been trying to win over. But that doesn't mean they'll alienate older viewers. "I think a lot of the show will definitely be about bringing in a fresh crop of movie viewers," Franco said. "But Anne and I as hosts are to bridge the gap between an older generation and a younger generation."
Regardless of age, all nominees were giddy as they discussed their Oscar journeys and preparations. Jesse Eisenberg, nominated for his portrayal of Mark Zuckerberg in The Social Network, marveled over how much awards season reminded him of his youth. "When I was 13 I had to go to Bar Mitzvahs every weekend, and this is like the same thing: Put on a suit every weekend to go meet with a lot of Jews," he joked. "I guess the alternative is worse, where no one likes your movie. I've experienced that and this is better."
For the female nominees, half the battle in getting ready for the Oscars is choosing the dress for the occasion. This year, it appears that red carpet fashion is being dictated not by the wearer but their offspring. Best actress frontrunner Natalie Portman confessed that dressing her growing belly has been an interesting process. "It's certainly all about leaving space for growth," said the pregnant actress, while Nicole Kidman told press she's taking fashion advice from her 2-year-old daughter. "Sunday Rose has pretty strong opinions. She chooses what she calls 'pretty dresses,'" said Kidman, nominated for Rabbit Hole. "Fingers crossed, guys. I might be wearing a tutu!"
For best actor nominee Colin Firth, who already has pocketed the Golden Globe and the SAG award with his portrayal of King George VI in The King's Speech, the hardest part is still figuring out how he feels about the success. "One does get asked quite regularly how one feels, and it does change throughout the day, I feel like I should take my temperature, or something," joked the actor. "It's obviously elating and I have a feeling that as this percolates over the next six months, or so, I'll probably punch the air in May, and crack open some champagne in September when it all sinks in."
Subscribe to TV Guide Magazine now!