James Franco responds to Oscar criticism

James Franco and Anne Hathaway Franco said he may have had 'low energy' because co-host Anne Hathaway was more energetic

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Actor James Franco has spoken for the first time about his much-criticised hosting of this year's Oscars ceremony.

In an interview with David Letterman, the 32-year-old denied he had been under the influence of drugs during the show as some critics had suggested.

Franco said he may have seemed to have "low energy" because his co-host, Anne Hathaway, was simply more energetic.

"I think the Tasmanian Devil would look stoned standing next to Anne Hathaway - she has a lot of energy," he said.

This year's Oscars ceremony was watched by 37.6m viewers in the US - 10% down on the previous year.

Franco admitted he had yet to watch a recording of the ceremony since but insisted he had "played those lines as well as I could".

"I never dreamed of being, like, the best Oscar host ever," said the US star, who was nominated for the best actor prize for his role in 127 Hours.

"It was never on my list of things to do, but it doesn't mean I didn't care and it doesn't mean I didn't try."

Letterman, who fronted the Oscars in 1995, was also heavily criticised for his hosting skills.

Making reference to his own experience, the 63-year-old said: "There will be, I think for you, 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."

Franco's appearance on The Late Show with David Letterman will be screened in the US on Friday.

The actor will shortly be seen in UK cinemas in medieval comedy Your Highness.

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