Yesterday was absolutely buzzing with Oscar buzz. First, the rumor that Ben Stiller and Robert Downey Jr. said no to the gig
. Just a few hours later, the official announcement came
: Next year's Oscars will be hosted by Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin. Entertainment Weekly
then talked with Adam Shankman about the picking process. Some highlights:
- Steve Martin was shocked that he was picked again. Shankman's response: "Yes, because I want the show to feel that we are continuing to build on the Oscars and I'm not trying to make the MTV Movie Awards."
- He was teamed with Baldwin because: "I know that they really adore and respect each other. Plus, I know that they'll be hilarious. I wanted there to be extra comedy in the show. It will keep it high entertainment."
- There was a plan to have two hosts right from the get-go.
- On not picking Tina Fey, a rumored choice: "It wasn't that she turned us down but her work schedule right in that time, she's writing the last of her shows, and we realized then that it wouldn't work."
- Does Shankman worry about backlash for picking two white males? "I'm the guy who made Hairspray so there shouldn't be any question about what I want to do. There will be all sorts of people of multiple ethnicities that will be involved in meaningful ways in the show. This just happened to be a funny pairing. ... There's been a constant theme in my work to be against racism."
I can't help but wonder why they couldn't have made it a trio and slipped Tina Fey into the mix in the amount that would be manageable with her schedule. As Melissa Silverstein points out
, there's a long line of female co-hosts, so it's too bad they couldn't make something work. But what's most intriguing is whether this will really work
. Sure, they'll be great in that classic Oscar host way. But will it bring the magic that the Academy so desperately wants? The pull to bring the masses back in love with the ceremony?