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Billy Crystal Tells Vulture His Advice for Oscar Hosts James Franco and Anne Hathaway

After emceeing the Academy Awards eight times, Billy Crystal pretty much set the template for what a modern-day Oscar host should look like — which made it all the more surprising when the very un-Crystal choices of James Franco and Anne Hathaway were announced as the hosts of next year's ceremony. Still, when Vulture spoke to Crystal last night at the Tisch School of the Arts Gala, he had nothing but praise for the pick. "They're young and they're funny and they're talented and they'll have a good thing to say," he gushed. And yet, they're not comedians — will that be a problem? "It's a different kind of thing. They also are with a really great producer, Don Mischer, who is going to make a really interesting, beautiful show, I know it ... But you hope that they'll have moments where they can be spontaneous, because I hope they have that kind of chance, to be really funny."

Any advice for the newcomers? "Yeah, you know, look like you want to be there," said Crystal. "You know, I mean that seriously. Whenever the new hosts have called me for any kind of advice, I said, 'Look like you want to be there. Love it up there; it's a great privilege to host the show.'" In fact, Crystal thinks Franco and Hathaway should relax, since most people are pulling for the pair: "You know, you've got people around the world hoping that you're going to be good. So be good, and enjoy yourself."

Photo: Henry S. Dziekan III/Getty Images