James Franco Addresses Anne Hathaway Backlash on Howard Stern Show

FILM: James Franco
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James Franco (CAA, James/Levy, Sloane Offer) is in negotiations to star in "The Game," MGM's adaptation of Neil Strauss' best-selling book about picking up women. Brian Koppelman and David Levien are writing and directing.

The "Spring Breakers" star says: "She does not want me talking about this, but OK."

The ill-conceived coupling of James Franco and Anne Hathaway to co-host the 2011 Academy Awards famously bombed on the air during an awkward telecast in which Franco seemed to mentally check out while Hathaway struggled to pick up his slack.

While the actors might want to forget the experience, leave it to Howard Stern to dredge up the past: on his Sirius radio show Monday, the shock jock, no fan of Hathaway, pressed Franco about his relationship with the Oscar-winning actress, asking: "Are you still friendly with her?"

"We haven't talked in a while," said the Spring Breakers star (via Us Weekly), adding: "Anne and I made up, by the way. Let's just get that on the record."

Franco admitted: "It was a really hard time after the Oscars. She wasn't mad at me, I don't think ... she didn't say she was mad at me for what happened ... The critics were so nasty."

VIDEO: Anne Hathaway: Oscar Hosting Gig Was Seen as 'Massive Failure'

Following his much-panned turn as an Oscar emcee, Franco remarked on Letterman that she "is so energetic, I think the Tasmanian Devil would look stoned standing next to Anne Hathaway." Apparently not amused, Hathaway said later in a Harper's Bazaar interview: "I let James know that a whirling dervish is a more flattering comparison than a Tasmanian devil. I called him, and we e-mailed a bit." 

She was also hard on herself, telling The Hollywood Reporter in a recent roundtable discussion that her performance "looked slightly manic and hyper cheerleadery on screen. ... Whether or not it was an actual failure, it was perceived as a massive failure."

For his part, Stern would be counted among an increasingly vocal contingent of "Hatha-haters."

"Everyone sort of hates Anne Hathaway, and I've explained that I do too and I don't know even know why sometimes," he vented to Franco. "She's just so affected [and] actress-y that even when she wins an award she's out of breath, and then she has the standard joke that sounds like it's [been] written [for her]. And it all seems so scripted and acted."

Franco responded: "I'm not an expert on -- I guess they're called 'Hatha-haters'-- but I think that's what maybe triggers it."