James Franco Kids Meredith Vieira About Loving Colin Firth

01/25/2011 at 12:40 PM EST

Oscar Nominations - Nominees React
James Franco and Meredith Vieira
Landov; Retna

Colin Firth

Colin Firth

Did Oscar host and 127 Hours Best Actor nominee James Franco get his feelings hurt – or does he just have a sense of humor?

On Tuesday morning, the actor spoke to the Today show after the Academy announced his nomination, but he used most of his airtime to rib NBC host Meredith Vieira about her practically already awarding the prize to King's Speech nominee Colin Firth.

"I guess you'll be polishing his statue, eh, Meredith?" joked Franco. A chagrined Vieira said she'd polish Franco's, as well, though she admitted, "I'm in the doghouse."

As for Firth, he sent word from London to describe how he was marking Tuesday's happy occasion, saying he's "currently celebrating with my colleagues three feet above the ground. Not used to this much joy, or this much champagne at this hour."





• He wasn't alone in kicking up his heels. Best Actress contender Nicole Kidman issued this statement: "What an extraordinary journey this film has taken me on! Rabbit Hole has been a labor of love, and I'm so thankful to John Cameron Mitchell, David Lindsay-Abaire and the brilliant cast. This nomination reflects all of the heart and soul that these people have put into it and I can't thank them enough."

• Previous Best Actor winner (1996's Shine") Geoffrey Rush, Firth's Supporting Actor-nominated costar in King's Speech – which received the year's most nominations with 12 – had this to say: "As an Australian, I'm as excited to be recognized and honored by the Academy as my character must have been when his London speech therapy business flourished when the future King of England happened to pop by one day. This story has struck such a rich, resonant chord with audiences of all ages, which is very exciting – to have your work honored by your industry peers is even better."

• Another Best Actress contender, Black Swan star Natalie Portman, said, "It is a wonderful culmination of the 10-year journey with [director Darren Aronofsky] to make this film. Making Black Swan is already the most meaningful experience of my career, and the passion shown for the film has completed the process of communication between artists and audience."

• Still another Actress nominee, Annette Bening, for The Kids Are All Right, which received a total of four nods, declared, "Four nominations and four kids. I am damn proud!"

• Supporting Actor for The Town, Jeremy Renner (also nominated last year for Best Actor in The Hurt Locker), said: "I am truly overwhelmed with gratitude by this recognition by the Academy this morning. I'm smiling from ear to ear knowing that lightning can strike twice and it feels electrifying."

• Filmmakers Joel Coen and Ethan Coen, whose True Grit received 10 nominations, said, according to the Hollywood Reporter: "Ten seems like an awful lot. We don't want to take anyone else's."

Additional reporting by PAUL CHI, MARY GREEN and ISLEY KASICA



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