The MTV Movie Awards have always been more about spectacle and send-ups than the films that the show putatively honors: One of the most-talked about moments last year was when comedian Sacha Baron Cohen "accidentally" fell from the rafters, his exposed backside landing on rapper Eminem's face.
The show's love of celebrity stunts as well as its commercial impulses (call it the anti-Oscars) are something that is hardly lost on this year's host, Aziz Ansari. To familiarize himself with the audience who voted for "The Hangover," "Avatar" and "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" as last year's greatest film fare, he took on the task of watching all the films in the popular vampire franchise -- and live-tweeting the endeavor.
"I'm trying to really become one with the audience, so I just put a poster of Robert Pattinson up on my ceiling to get into the head of the audience," he joked on a conference call Wednesday afternoon. "I haven't been writing any jokes or filming shorts. I've just been looking at the poster and hopefully that will get me ready for June 6."
Next month at Hollywood's Gibson Amphitheatre, Ansari -- who will appear in the upcoming Russell Brand comedy "Get Him to the Greek" -- also kidded that his goal was to "maybe touch Robert Pattinson's hair" or "get a photo with Taylor Lautner's abs."
But though the actor said he grew up watching popular films like "Jurassic Park" and "Die Hard," his taste actually now leans more towards art-house films. When asked what movie he was rooting for at this year's show, he answered: "Did this French movie called 'A Prophet' get nominated? I gotta look at the nominations. I'm sure that's got a lot of competition."
And what will he talk about in his monologues during the program?
"I am going to talk mainly about that Banksy documentary 'Exit Through the Gift Shop,' " he deadpanned. "I hope that's relevant to the audience -- it is, right?"
It's clear Ansari is realistic about the importance of the show he'll host. When one journalist asked if the awards actually mattered, Ansari replied: "Oh, they do, man. Wait until you see what happens after someone wins the best global superstar award. Their career is really going to take off."
Check out the full list of nominations here.
-- Amy Kaufman (Twitter.com/AmyKinLA)
Photo: Comedian Aziz Ansari will host the 2010 MTV Movie Awards. Credit: Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times.
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