Yes, he was in character.
If you're on the Internet, you've seen a picture of Nicki Minaj's ass-centric "Anaconda" cover. It's just a fact.
So when Minaj stopped by MTV's special VMA preview show, it's no surprise that's all anyone wanted to talk about. Hosted by James Franco (in character as Dave Skylark from the upcoming film The Interview), he asked her a series of questions about that single cover, while Minaj -- jokingly -- gets more and more frustrated. Come for the "super bass" versus "superb ass" jokes, stay for Skylark asking Minaj "If your ass was a tree, what kind of tree would it be?"