Rob  Riggle Will Play Nice as Hollywood Film Awards Host: "It's Definitely Not a Roast"

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Rob Riggle

The funnyman gives a preview of what to expect at Sunday's ceremony, where 24 awards are being handed out, and which movies he believes are worthy of recognition this year.

Established in 1997 to "celebrate Hollywood and launch the awards season," what the Hollywood Film Awards lacks in prestige it certainly makes up for in star wattage: Shia LaBeouf, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron and Antonio Banderas all are confirmed to collect 2019 prizes, which are announced ahead of time. And bucking the latest awards show trend, the HFAs have decided to hire a host this year. It's Rob Riggle, the 6-foot-3 funnyman who has stolen scenes in everything from The Hangover to Modern Family. THR caught up with Riggle, 49, who hosted the ESPYs in 2012 and American Valor Awards in 2018 to talk about the gig, set for Nov. 3 at the Beverly Hilton. (HFA's producer, Dick Clark Productions, shares a parent company with THR.)

Do you have an A-team of joke writers that will help you with your hosting gig?

I definitely have my comedy friends that I count on to help me out. They'll join me for the pretaped bits and some of the "hosting yuks," so to speak.

Shia LaBeouf will be honored there. Will you poke fun at any of his colorful incidents?

I don't know yet, to be honest. Perhaps, perhaps not. It's definitely not a roast. I won't be out there going crazy. If it's something that's fun and lighthearted, sure. I think it's appropriate.

For a while, it seemed as if hosts were going in the direction of Ricky Gervais and the Golden Globes, where they got really mean — and now they're nice again.

It all depends on the events and on whom you ask. You're always going to get differing opinions. But everyone in the room is adults and can laugh and have fun.

Have you seen any movies this year that you particularly liked or feel are worthy of awards?

There's a bunch out there, too many to list. Like Rocketman. Taron Egerton is going to be [at the awards]. I know Cynthia Erivo from Harriet is going to be there. And Olivia Wilde — her movie Booksmart [will be honored]. That's exciting to me because I know Olivia, and I'm very proud of her.

You do work a lot. You have hundreds of credits.

I try to work. You have to work in this town, and I'm very blessed to be a working actor. So I take the work.

What credit do people mention most when they run into you?

Probably Step Brothers. Or The Hangover. 21 Jump Street. Modern Family. The Daily Show. Those are probably the big ones. Oh, and Riggle's Picks on Fox Sports. There's a lot of football fans out there.

Interview edited for length and clarity.

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THERE'S AN AWARD FOR THAT
Those hoping for some trophy attention will get their first taste Nov. 3.

Career Achievement Award
Charlize Theron, Bombshell

Actor Award
Antonio Banderas, Pain and Glory

Actress Award
Renée Zellweger, Judy

Supporting Actor Award
Al Pacino, The Irishman

Supporting Actress Award
Laura Dern, Marriage Story; Little Women

Breakout Actor Award
Taron Egerton, Rocketman

Breakout Actress Award
Cynthia Erivo, Harriet

Breakthrough Director Award
Olivia Wilde, Booksmart

Breakthrough Screenwriter Award
Shia LaBeouf, Honey Boy

Filmmaker Award
Bong Joon-Ho, Parasite

Producer Award
Emma Tillinger Koskoff, The Irishman; Joker

Director Award
James Mangold, Ford v Ferrari

Screenwriter Award
Anthony McCarten, The Two Popes

Cinematography Award
Mihai Malaimare Jr., Jojo Rabbit

Song Award
Pharrell Williams, "Letter to My Godfather" (The Black Godfather)

Film Composer Award
Randy Newman, Marriage Story

Editor Award
Michael McCusker and Andrew Buckland, Ford v Ferrari

Visual Effects Award
Pablo Helman, The Irishman

Sound Award
Donald Sylvester, Paul Massey, David Giammarco and Steven A. Morrow, Ford v Ferrari

Costume Design Award
Anna Mary Scott Robbins, Downton Abbey

Makeup and Hair Styling Award
Lizzie Yianni-Georgiou, Tapio Salmi and Barrie Gower, Rocketman

Production Design Award
Ra Vincent, Jojo Rabbit

Animation Award
Toy Story 4

Blockbuster Award
Avengers: Endgame

This story first appeared in the Oct. 30 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.