Producers and writers on that show spoke to The Ringer about how Hathaway and Franco’s work habits and personalities weren’t a great match.
When the staff wrote the two would a spoof on Christopher Nolan’s movie “Inception,” it required a months-long prep.
“Anne made herself readily available,” writer Jordan Rubin told the publication. “I went to her house and worked on the script and she was on a bunch of conference calls and responding to emails and was a great collaborator.”
Rubin said Franco was deep in his college phase, taking doctoral classes in the English department at Yale University in Connecticut.
“He always seemed to be on a flight and it was very hard for me to get a hold of him,” Rubin recalled. “That was a red flag.”
During rehearsals, Hathaway “showed up ready to play and committed 110 percent,” Rubin said, while Franco “was a great guy but often looked like he had just woken up from a nap. It’s almost like you’re showing up to a tennis court and one person decided that they were going to play in the U.S. Open and the other wanted to play in jeans and just kind of hit a few balls.”
Rubin said things got worse when one day Hathaway kindly tried to give Franco a note on a line that wasn’t working. He said Franco told her “Don’t tell me how to be funny.”
Production scrapped duets the two were going to do and “the chaos mounted” as the duo failed to connect.
The Ringer reported that Hathaway and Franco declined to be interviewed for the piece, but have reflected on the gig since.
“I was focusing on the parts of the show that I knew worked,” she recalled. “You know how sometimes your optimism tips into delusion and you’re just like, ‘If I’m just really, really nice to everybody, everything’s going to work out.’ It did not work in that case.”