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Corden jokes about being ‘a disaster’ on ‘Late Late Show’

NEW YORK — You might call it false modesty, but actor and comedian James Corden seemed genuinely nervous when asked about succeeding Craig Ferguson as the host of “The Late Late Show” in March.

The Englishman chuckled and squirmed when I brought up his new TV hosting gig at the end of an interview for his film “Into the Woods” (opening Christmas Day). “It’s going to be a disaster,” said Corden with a big grin. “What have I got myself into?”

Emily Blunt, who plays his spouse in the film, chimed in, “A … disaster, all right!”

“I don’t know if American audiences will be able to take him,” she added, continuing to rib him about his upcoming television job on CBS.

Of course, this was all in jest, with Blunt calling after me as I was exiting our interview suite: “I’m JUST kidding! He’s going to be great! Really great!”

As the door was closing, I heard a lot of uproarious laughter, and Corden bellowing, “NOW you say I’m going to be great — after he’s gone!”