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Not so complicated: Meryl Streep wasn't asked to join costars as Oscars co-hosts

November 6, 2009 | 12:07 pm

Its Complicated Poster Following Tuesday's announcement of Steve Martin and Alec Baldwin as co-hosts of the Oscars, Gold Derby noted that when the academy used multiple hosts most recently, there was at least one woman in the mix. So, we wondered, why aren't these two male costars of the upcoming "It's Complicated" going to be joined by their leading lady -- Meryl Streep -- in emceeing the awards?

Turns out that the all-time leader in acting nominations (15) was not invited to join in the fun, her PR rep Leslee Dart tells Gold Derby. Why wouldn't the academy have at least asked one of their favorites for a dance? After all, we know Streep can kick up her heels -- she certainly shimmied and shook in last years' box office smash "Mamma Mia!" -- and she can belt out a tune with the best -- she earned a 1990 best actress Oscar nod for her warbling in "Postcards From the Edge."

Twice in the recent past, Streep has shown herself to be quite adept at playing herself at the Oscar podium. At the 2005 awards, she and Lily Tomlin spoofed the trademark overlapping dialogue perfected by director Robert Altman when presenting him with an honorary Oscar. And three years earlier, she was charming as she feted Peter O'Toole with his honorary award.

And for those worried about mixing business with pleasure should Streep land her 16th Oscar nod this year for either "Julie & Julia" or "It's Complicated," remember that the last time the academy used multiple hosts -- in 1986 -- one of the trio of emcees was "Crocodile Dundee" star Paul Hogan, who was also a nominee that year. Hogan had earned an original screenplay nod for the hit comedy. When he and his co-writers were bested by Woody Allen for "Hannah and Her Sisters," Hogan made losing into a winning Oscar moment. Hogan's co-hosts were a pair of one-time costars --  from "Foul Play" Chevy Chase and Goldie Hawn.

Of the 16 Oscar ceremonies from 1971 to 1986, nine of them had at least three co-hosts, if not four or five. And all of those teams included at least one woman onstage at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion. Oscar went solo throughout the 1960s, perhaps recovering from the 1959 Oscars that boasted a half-dozen hosts: Bob Hope, Jerry Lewis, David Niven, Laurence Olivier, Tony Randall and Mort Sahl.

In all likelihood, Streep couldn't be invited to join Martin and Baldwin on the Oscars' stage because of conflict-of-interest issues. Nominated films aren't permitted to advertise on the telecast. It's already dubious having two-thirds of the cast of "It's Complicated" co-hosting. Adding a third would make the trio appear as an outright plug for the pic.

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Photo credit: Universal

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