Get Smart star Anne Hathaway is ready to ditch her princess image
IT’S A STEEP, WINDING CLIMB THROUGH THE HOLLYWOOD HILLS TO THE HORSESHOE-SHAPED BUNGALOW WHERE ANNE HATHAWAY IS STAYING. I press the buzzer and an affable guy in a red hoodie answers the door: Hathaway’s older brother, Michael, who’s inherited the same lush features as his sister.
‘The house is kind of strange, but it’s great for parties,’ Hathaway tells me on a guided tour, adding that she and Michael are hosting a Moroccan-themed bash next week. When we reach the master bathroom, she points out an errant nunchuck lying on the edge of the tub. ‘I was trying to impress my friend the other night,’ she says, laughing. ‘I was a little tipsy.’ Tipsy? What a welcome whiff of mischief. After all, it isn’t so easy picturing Hathaway flinging weapons under the influence, given how indelibly, well, princessy she is.
Even though Hathaway, with her royal CV (at 17, she starred in Disney’s surprise hit, The Princess Diaries, which she followed up with two more tiara flicks: Ella Enchanted and The Princess Diaries 2) and good-girl reputation is the anti-Lohan, she wants you to know she’s no prude. ‘I love Peaches,’ she says, referring to the recording artist whose last-but-one album was entitled Fatherfucker. ‘When people are all, “Do you think you have a squeaky clean image?” I’m like, “My favourite song is called Fuck the Pain Away!”’
Hathaway has no problem going topless on-camera, either, which she did in both Havoc (her one straight-to-DVD flop) and Brokeback Mountain. ‘I don’t actively search for [films] that I can get naked in,’ she explains. ‘But nor is it something that I would ever not do a job because of. It is what it is. Some people choose not to do it on moral grounds; I think that’s a shoddy argument.’ Of course, there are limits. ‘I turned down another movie [Knocked Up] because it was going to show a vagina – not mine, but somebody else’s – and I didn’t believe that it was necessary to the story.’
After Ella Enchanted and Havoc, the chance to work with director Ang Lee on the Oscar-winning Brokeback Mountain beckoned and, suddenly, the latte-sipping life of an undergrad lost its lustre. After auditioning, Hathaway landed the role of Jake Gyllenhaal’s wife.
The first time she saw the film, at the 2005 Venice Film Festival alongside Lee and co-stars Gyllenhaal and Heath Ledger (when asked about the tragic death of her co-star and good friend, she describes it as ‘devastating’ and ‘a shock to us all’), she almost didn’t make it through. ‘I’m not in the movie until, like, 45 minutes into it,’ she explains, ‘and I start to get sick to my stomach, thinking that I’m gonna be the one to fuck it up. So, right before I come on, I run outside because I can’t handle it.’
Eventually, Hathaway came back in and watched without incident – until the last scene, when she burst into tears. ‘Didn’t stop for an hour. And Kirsten Dunst, who was going out with Jake at the time, was like two rows behind me, as was Maggie [Gyllenhaal], and we were all crying,’ she recalls, laughing.
This is an edited version of the full interview, which features in the August 2008 issue of Marie Claire.