The Oscars producers—that would be the dynamic Dreamgirls duo of producer Laurence Mark and director Bill Condon—opted not to go with our suggestions of Mickey Rooney or Korean singing sensation Dong as emcee.
Rather, they chose perhaps our most safely logical candidate: Hugh Jackman—whose larger-than-life talent has already proven itself capable of carrying musclebearish mutant adventures, flashy Broadway bio-musicals, and sweeping historical romances with equal facility.
But is he ready to tackle the toughest gig in the 'biz? Oscar hosting once famously turned David Letterman into a babbling, vowel-sounding incoherent, and led Chris Rock to inadvertently incite a sound mixer/sound editor turf war that resulted in several completely inaudible seat-filler shootings.
The Academy seems to think he is, but Jackman wants to be reassured he won't have to deliver any Russell Crowe fat jokes shoved into his hands by Bruce Vilanch moments before he takes the stage. Deadline Hollywood Daily reports:
The people around Jackman want to know exactly what would be expected of him, especially when it comes to opening the Oscar broadcast. One segment of the show which reps for Jackman are objecting to specifically is the joke-telling monologue. "I don't want that for him," an insider told me. "He is an actor with big movies behind him and one coming this summer. He didn't work the last 20 years to suddenly be a stand-up comedian.
Not that there's anything wrong with stand-up comics, mind you—but, you know. They're by and large unsavory types who douse themselves in L'eau de desperation before pushing up their blazer sleeves and hitting the spotlit stool. That's not Jackman, and befits not the Sexiest Man Alive.
We leave you now with his legendary performance at the 2004 Tonys.