JAMES Franco has broken his silence about his much-maligned Oscars co-hosting stint, insisting he couldn't match Anne Hathaway's energy levels on the big night.

The movie star fled to New York after the Academy Awards and hasn't commented on the criticism he has received - until now.

In a taped interview with another criticised former Oscars host, David Letterman, which will air on the TV host's show on Friday night, Franco admits he was most upset by reports suggesting he was stoned during the telecast.

He tells Letterman, "Maybe I had low energy. I honestly played those lines as well as I could.

"People said I was under the influence. 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."

Franco, who admits he has yet to watch his performance as Oscars host, insists he really set out to do a great job and is upset his hosting stint fell flat among critics.

He adds, "It was never on my list of things to do. 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 you want 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."

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