Anne Hathaway Knows She's Gotten A Lot Of Snark For Her Hollywood Personality, But Says It's Because She Doesn't Do Things 'Half Measure'

 Anne Hathaway in The Idea Of You.
Anne Hathaway in The Idea Of You.

Anne Hathaway has been a star for over twenty years, from the early days of The Princess Diaries to her Oscar winning performance in Les Miserables, to her most recent role in The Idea Of You, a romantic drama that she co-stars in with Nicholas Galitzine. Her star power and range cannot be underestimated, as the actress has seamlessly jumped from genre to genre, exploring different facets of herself as an actress. However, her career hasn’t been without criticism, as there have been periods of heavy critique of her as a Hollywood personality. Luckily Hathaway isn’t backing down and is owning her intense reputation.

The actress sat down with Vanity Fair ahead of her latest romantic role. Hathaway hasn’t returned to the genre in a while, with her last role within the genre being over 10 years ago in One Day. Despite her transformative ability (and starring mostly in well loved projects) the media has come after her for her presence as a movie star, often criticizing her for being self-serious. This commentary has dissipated over the years, but this kind of noise was ever present in the years following her Oscar win. Key and Peele even did a sketch called “Hatin’ on the Hathaways” where they pushed back against this narrative. When asked about this reputation, Hathaway didn’t shy away from being called intense, saying:

I’m an intense person. You can tell from that story I don’t do things by half measure. When I love something, I imagine myself doing it to the hilt.

This commentary around Hathaway about her intensity has always felt a bit sexist. Men have historically been praised for taking extreme measures for roles, with Daniel Day Lewis being considered one of the best actors of all time for his transformative approach to the craft. Christian Bale’s ability to change his appearance drastically has been lauded, and it often seems like the more seriously men take acting, the better. However, Hathaway has received a barrage of internet hate for her own commitment and taking her roles seriously.

This intensity was present when she played Fantine in Les Miserables, and she lost over 20 pounds for the role. She also requested a number of takes of her devastating “I Dreamed a Dream” performance, long after the director felt she’d nailed it. This ended up being the right call, as she went on to win an Academy Award for only 15 minutes of screen time in the film. She said of the performance:

The truth is that you let go. You black out a little bit. You come up at the end and you’re like, ‘What just happened?’

Even though her high level of commitment and perfectionism led her to an Oscar win, this didn’t stop the media from coming after her. The 2014 comedy movie Trainwreck made a joke at her expense, referencing her behavior in reaction to winning an Oscar. The whole thing feels outdated, and shows how difficult it is to “perform” as a woman in the public eye, and what we deem as “likable” in comparison to how we view male actors. Director James Gray, who Hathaway worked with for 2022’s Armageddon Time, was complimentary of the actress’s approach to her craft. He compared her to other renowned male actors he's also worked with, saying:

When you’re looking at actors, you’re looking for a level of commitment. It doesn’t mean they have all the answers. But it does mean that they will give themselves 100 percent to whatever they’re doing. And by the way, Jeremy Strong and Tony Hopkins were the same way. They were willing to do anything for me. It makes me want to cry thinking about it now, because it’s very rare that you get that.

Even in the face of internet hate, Hathaway has always been gracious and classy, staying true to herself despite what others may think. Her work ethic and strength is why she is so successful today, and directors like Christopher Nolan, Tim Burton, and Nancy Meyers have clammored to work with her. She sets an example for other women that there is nothing wrong with taking yourself seriously and committing yourself to your craft. Working hard is, and always will be, very cool.

You can see Anne Hathaway in yet another committed performance in The Idea of You when it becomes available for Amazon Prime subscribers on May 2, 2024. Fans of the Interstellar actress should also check out our feature on some of the best movies starring Anne Hathaway, and where they could be streaming.