The '127 Hours' actor - who will co-host the Oscars with actress Anne Hathaway next February - admits he was stunned when he was asked to front the prestigious event and initially worried he would be terrible.
He said: "I was very, very surprised, and my initial reaction was 'No.' Then I thought about it and I thought, 'Well, why not? Because I'll look bad?' Well, I don't care.
"I'm happy to take the criticism. Even if it's 'The Worst Oscars Ever,' I don't care. It's one night of the year."
James has been tipped to receive a Best Actor nomination for his role as mountaineer Aron Railston in '127 Hours' and was advised to turn down the hosting job by his representatives, but admits their advice made him even more determined to take the presenting slot.
He told Entertainment Weekly magazine: "When we finally met and discussed it in person, all my representatives were saying, 'No! Of course not!' So that always Sparks something In Me. So I said, 'Yes, of course!' Because that reaction that they have is based on conventional wisdom of what makes a good career. And that can be boring - really boring.
"I'm front and centre, but I feel confident."
The Academy Awards will take place at Hollywood's Kodak Theatre on February 27.