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In an interesting turn of events, Seth Rogen (who just last month indicated that he would have no interest in following his friend James Franco’s lead to one day host the Oscars) is set to host the 2012 Film Independent Spirit Awards. The 27th annual ceremony will again be held as a daytime luncheon in a tent on the beach in Santa Monica on Saturday, February 25 and will air later that evening at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on IFC.
Rogen’s own film, “50/50,” is well-represented with nominations for Best Feature, Anjelica Huston for Best Supporting Female, and Will Reiser for Best First Screenplay. The actor co-produced and co-stars (indirectly as himself) in the film alongside indie (and now big budget) favorite Joseph Gordon-Levitt. So, Rogen is indeed taking a feather from Franco’s cap in that there is the potential for him to walk away as both host and honoree should “50/50” secure the Best Feature win.
The film is based on Reiser’s own experience undergoing treatment for back cancer in his early 20s. It was Rogen, Reiser's friend and colleague on “Da Ali G Show,” who encouraged Resier to pen the script for a film they had laughingly pitched to one another at a party shortly after Reiser's diagnosis. "The truth is even in the most horrible circumstances, funny shit happens," Levitt said in an interview with In Contention in September. Indeed, at 24 and 25, Reiser and Rogen were focused on finding the humor in the situation, and in so doing, managed to capture the humanity.
Given that Rogen’s critique of the Oscars focused on the organization's misuse of its talent, his participation in the Spirit Awards feels like a endorsement of both Film Independent (the non-profit arts organization behind the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival) and the awards show itself. His secondary criticism (which ties into the first) centered on the writing.
Certainly IFC is banking on the combined strength of Rogen’s writing and stand-up abilities. "Seth is one of the smartest and funniest actors today and we look forward to him making this one of the most entertaining Spirit Awards yet," said Jennifer Caserta, Executive Vice President & General Manager of IFC.
One would imagine that Rogen will take far more ownership in this ceremony than Franco was able to with the Academy Awards, so it will be interesting to note the many and varied ways in which the two events differ.
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