Brett Ratner: Oscar fan who recognizes his outsider status
Brett Ratner, chosen Thursday as co-producer of the 2012 Oscars, has never gotten any Academy Awards love for his films ("Rush Hour," "Rush Hour 2," "Rush Hour 3" and "Red Dragon," to name a few). But he says he's a huge fan of the telecast, a show he's been watching since he was 10 years old with his family.
"I remember sitting on the couch watching the Oscars with my mom, my grandparents, my great-grandparents," he said Thursday in an interview. "It brings great memories and I'm hoping to give that experience to people at home around the world."
Though Ratner has directed and produced movies, he's never earned much praise from the critics. It's a status the 42-year-old recognizes. "I'm not invited to the Vanity Fair dinner where they watch the Oscars -- or even the Oscars themselves --so I sit at home and watch it with a bunch of close friends."
Ratner, who has no experience in live television, vowed to work harder on the show than on anything he's done in the past. However, the director still seems baffled by the academy's decision. He said he asked Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences President Tom Sherak and Academy CEO Dawn Hudson why they wanted him for the job.
"They said: 'You love comedy. You love to laugh, and we want to bring entertainment value and comedy to this show,' " said Ratner, who produced this summer's "Horrible Bosses" and directed the upcoming Ben Stiller movie "Tower Heist." "I'm a laugher and a lover of comedy. That is what's going to make the show work."
Hopefully, we'll be laughing for the right reasons.
-- Nicole Sperling
Photo: Director Brett Ratner with Pierce Brosnan on the set of 'After the Sunset' in 2004. Credit: Glen Wilson/New Line Productions