Few actresses have been as polarizing as Anne Hathaway. People either love the actress or hate her. There is little in between. The 31-year-old is often criticized for being too earnest, but Anne Hathaway is now addressing the haters while promoting her upcoming film, Interstellar.
“People treated me a certain way,” Hathaway commented on the widespread hate and negativity she faced in the past few years. She reports that the backlash left her “punched in the gut” at first, but has enabled her to grow. “This whole thing has made me a way more compassionate and loving person.”
Born in 1982 and raised in New York, Hathaway first attracted considerable attention in the 2001 Disney film The Princess Diaries and its sequel. She starred in at least a dozen films, including The Devil Wears Prada, Becoming Jane, Brokeback Mountain and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Her first Oscar nomination was in 2008 for Rachel Getting Married and she won the Supporting Actress Oscar for her 2012 portrayal of Fantine in Les Misérables.
When did the “Hatha-hate” start? Some entertainment sites say the backlash arose during the 2012-2013 awards season when she took home several statuettes for her performance as Fantine in Les Mis. But it probably goes back to her hosting gig at the 2011 Oscars. Before then, Hathaway was viewed as a former Disney star who was diversifying and expanding her career. After the telecast, she was a punch line (although James Franco was widely given the blame for their terrible showing as co-hosts). Whichever cause started the negative comments in the media and online, Hathaway’s earnestness led to her being viewed as a someone who took themself too seriously.
For example, her weight loss regimes for The Devil Wears Prada and Les Misérables received considerable attention, partly because she drew so much attention to them in interview after interview. Hathaway claimed while filming Prada that she and costar Emily Blunt would hug each other and cry because they were so hungry. She lost 25 pounds to play the starving, ill Fantine. Hathaway admits her extreme diet for Les Mis affected her health, but at the time did not want to be viewed as courting sympathy. “I was still partly Fantine. I was still identifying with being a victim,” she told Harper’s Bazaar.
Another moment that led to much criticism of the actress was her fumbling acceptance speech at the 2013 Golden Globes. Admitting that public speaking makes her “incredibly anxious,” Hathaway forgot to thank her cancer-stricken manager of 15 years. She made it worse by interrupting the Les Misérables cast’s Best Motion Picture award acceptance time to try and rectify her gaffe. Even she acknowledges that her behavior, while well meaning, “was rude.”
After taking time away from the public eye, Anne Hathaway is back and addressing the haters. She has Interstellar opening in November and is currently working on the second Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland film. She is also working on the second phase of her career with a little more meat on her bones than her Fantine days and the lessons learned in the past few years to buoy her.
By Dyanne Weiss