Chris Rock didn’t get an offer to host the upcoming Academy Awards – because if he did, he would have said yes.
That’s what Rock told TheWrap on Friday, following reports elsewhere that announced Oscar host Neil Patrick Harris may not have been the first choice of producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron.
One report insisted that Zadan and Meron had made an offer to this year’s host, Ellen DeGeneres, and followed that with an offer to Rock before turning to Harris.
And while it’s pretty much a no-brainer that Zadan and Meron would have had conversations with DeGeneres, who’d been well received both critically and ratings-wise, Rock said flatly this week that no offer came his way.
“I didn’t get an offer,” Rock told TheWrap on Friday. “I mean, it’s Neil Patrick Harris. It’s like, who would pick me before Neil Patrick Harris? He’s an amazing host.”
Rock himself hosted the Oscars in 2005 [promo photo above], opening with a memorable monologue that skewered a few movie stars – “If you want Russell Crowe and all you can get is Colin Farrell, wait” – and may have paved the way for the nastier work of Ricky Gervais when he hosted the Golden Globes.
Rock drew mixed reviews for what was actually a very funny show, and he drew an onstage rebuke from Sean Penn for asking, “Who is Jude Law? Why is he in every movie I have seen the last four year?” (“He’s one of our finest actors,” an unsmiling Penn pointed out onstage later in the show.)
But he had fun doing the show, Rock said – and if he ever got an offer to host again, he’d jump at the opportunity.
“Oh, yeah,” he said. “If they asked me, yeah, I’d definitely do it again. Definitely, definitely.”
Rock could be back in the awards picture this year with “Top Five,” a personal, occasionally serious but also raucously funny film that premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival to a riotous reception and promptly landed the festival’s biggest deal, more than $12 million from Paramount. The movie will be out in December and could well figure into the Golden Globes’ comedy categories, though its Oscar chances are remote.