What did it take for you to say “yes” again?
“It took my agent saying, ‘Yes, you should do it.’ And I said, ‘OK.’ Look, it’s the greatest gig in the world. And it’s also really, really hard. So, I wasn’t going to do it, because I’ve done it before. And I thought, ‘I don’t need to do that again.’ And then I realised I’m too comfortable and too complacent and I should scare myself and take a chance. So here I am, scaring myself and taking a chance.”
Describe the fear element of the job.
“It’s live around the world, to a billion people watching, and every major person who is in the room that has done every major thing. I mean, I know a lot of them. So, it helps a little bit that I’m friendly with everybody. But it’s still scary. It’s the energy in the room. There’s a lot of really anxious energy and, so, you kind of pick that up. You can feel all that when you walk out. So I’m trying to remain calm.”
How will you be able to resist dancing along with the nominated songs, especially Pharrell Williams’ Happy?
“I know. I will be dancing like crazy, whether he likes it or not. I’m just looking forward to the hat he wears. And I hope that the person (sitting) behind him isn’t mad, because he wears a large hat, that Pharrell.”
What’s your ultimate goal for Oscar night?
“I hope that everyone had fun. I hope that it didn’t seem like it’s as long as it’s going to be. This year it’s six hours. Did you know that? Six hours… Here’s what I hope: I hope when I say, ‘Goodnight,’ I hope people go: ‘One more hour! One more hour!’ And they start chanting and make me stay. That’s what I hope.”