LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Critics skewered James Franco for a poor job co-hosting the Oscars with some saying he looked stoned onstage, but on Thursday, the actor said it was likely low energy, not dope, that was to blame.
Franco, who hosted the world's top film awards in February alongside actress Anne Hathaway, told David Letterman on his talk show that he had thought about his poor reviews and speculation he was under the influence of marijuana and he thought he knew why.
"I love her, but Anne Hathaway is so energetic. I think the Tasmanian Devil would look stoned standing next to Anne Hathaway...She has a lot of energy," Franco said on the "Late Show with David Letterman."
Letterman agreed that Hathaway was "very buoyant...very ebullient," according to a transcript released by the show.
Franco responded: "I think I actually -- I haven't watched it back -- maybe I had low energy. I honestly played those lines as well as I could."
Franco, 32, is best known for his dramatic roles in movies like "127 Hours," for which he earned an Oscar nomination this year, but he also has taken roles in movies with plots revolving around marijuana, such as "Pineapple Express."
The ceremony's U.S. audience of 37.6 million viewers was off 10 percent from the year before.
Letterman said he could empathize with Franco over the poor reviews, having hosted the show himself in 1995. When Franco asked him about his experience, Letterman replied: "It was horrible...I was so bad that they talked for a while about shutting down the motion picture industry."
Letterman then offered Franco some advice, telling him that initially he would be embarrassed about the performance, but that it would eventually wear off.
Franco's Letterman appearance will air on Friday.
(Reporting by Bob Tourtellotte; Editing by Dean Gooodman)