Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson reveals he was the first choice to host the Oscars
You would think that people would be climbing over each other to host the most prestigious Hollywood event on the calendar, but this year The Oscars has no host to speak of - and not for the lack of trying.
There were a few celebrities whose names were forward as potential choices for the big night, but the academy's final choice didn't go down too smoothly. Kevin Hart seemed like a good choice, as both a Hollywood actor and a man with the stand-up comedy chops to prove he'd be able to handle the hosting duties, but unfortunately it soon unearthed social media posts and other comments from the comedian's past were homophobic.
Hart expressed his frustration at the controversy, was publicly forgiven by Ellen DeGeneres on her show, but his delayed apology left many unhappy about his inclusion - and he quit. The Academy Awards were now in need of a new host, and the search went on, but now they've announced that, for the first time since 1989, they're going with out a host entirely.
Despite the fact that Hart was the first to be announced for the ceremony, it has now been revealed that he wasn't their first choice. According to Dwayne Johnson, they approached him first, and while he was honoured, he had to pull out because of a scheduling conflict. Not only that, but he has revealed that he was planning on performing a musical number when he took to the stage.
“I was so excited to get that call, and I didn’t anticipate it,” Johnson said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter on Thursday. According to the actor, he and his team didn't campaign for it, but he was still "over the moon" when he found out he was chosen as the host for the evening.
Meeting with producers Glenn Weiss and Donna Gigliotti, he worked on his vision of what the show would look like, including a musical performance.
"I just paused in my silence and was like, wow thank you so much, and then immediately my brain started going, we'll do this kind of number and that.
“I had this whole idea about this massive number, and I was going to sing and I was going to bring in this person to sing, this person from the audience, and … Oh my god.
“We were going to turn the Oscars on their head this year and make it something special and unique and different, and start a new era of how Oscars are going to be enjoyed. That was the goal — audience first. I wanted to try and create a scenario where, at the end of the night, my friends who won, my friends who didn't win, all had, despite not winning, had the greatest time. That was the goal. So — one day.”
It sounds like this would have been an incredible night with Johnson at the helm, but unfortunately he was too busy filming the sequel to Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. Ironically enough, he'll be starring in this film with Hart, although it seems they had different schedules on set.
The Oscars will air on Sunday, February 24.