Anne Hathaway: ‘Dreams aren’t the only things that can come true…’
Your worst nightmares can too, says ANNE HATHAWAY. She tells Cole Moreton how, along with the hit films, happy marriage and Oscar win, she also had an army of haters
Anne Hathaway lives in a gorgeous apartment overlooking New York’s Central Park with her husband, producer and jewellery designer Adam Shulman, and their two children, which I catch a glimpse of during our Zoom chat. ‘I should have turned the camera to a blank wall,’ she half jokes, then adds more seriously, ‘I count myself as very fortunate, because I was not born into this. I hope that helps me have a perspective on it and appreciate it.’
앤, 39, was born in Brooklyn, 뉴욕, raised in New Jersey and has been a Hollywood star since the age of 17. She made her name in movies such as The Princess Diaries, won an Oscar in 2013 for Les Misérables and is now about to appear with Jared Leto in a stunning new Apple TV+ series called WeCrashed.
In a neat example of art imitating life, she plays a real-life woman who seems to live a similar kind of Manhattan life not too far from Anne’s apartment, and who also has a husband called Adam. ‘The Adam thing is kind of weird. But our place is a rental. They bought theirs.’
WeCrashed is based on the true story of charismatic Adam Neumann, an Israeli-born entrepreneur who persuaded investors to put billions into his office-space-sharing start-up WeWork before seeing it all come crashing down. ‘It’s hard to believe it all happened,’ says Anne, ‘but it did. I guess that’s what makes it a great story.’
앤, bloodied but unbowed, in her new series WeCrashed
Neumann sells a vision of happy millennials sharing workspace, playing ping pong, drinking free beer and falling in love. 몇 번이고, he boasts that WeWork is bigger than it is to attract major investors – all until the stock market rumbles the truth. While he’s doing this, he’s living like a rock star and blowing millions. Anne is superb as his wife and ally Rebekah Paltrow Neumann, a cousin of Gwyneth, who brings style, yoga and a breathtaking ambition to do nothing short of raise the consciousness of the human race. ‘I’ve thought a lot about it and I believe, despite the results, Rebekah had good intentions and meant every word she said. I just don’t know that it’s possible to save the world and “make a s***-ton of money doing it” [something Adam Neumann famously said with an even more famous shrug]. I hope they’ve been able to learn and grow from this.’
The Neumanns were forced out of WeWork in 2019 when an attempt to go public failed and over 2,000 employees lost their jobs. The couple were paid a fortune to leave and some people are, 당연히, still furious with them. ‘We don’t judge them. That wasn’t the point. But we don’t let them off either,’ Anne says when asked if the series was too soft on the Neumanns. And it’s true, WeCrashed is a complex drama that doesn’t shy away from the harm they caused. ‘I’m intrigued by the whole idea of “fake it till you make it” – of saying something that you intend to be true which, if it works out, nobody questions. It’s only when it doesn’t work out that we examine it.’
Has she ever faked it herself? ‘When I auditioned for Brokeback Mountain, the last question the director Ang Lee asked me was: “Can you ride a horse?” I said: “Yes.” And I couldn’t.’ She smiles. '나는 스스로 생각했다: “I have a few weeks to learn.”’ That’s not very long, 그것은? '그는 가지고있다! 아니, but I am very determined, took it very seriously, worked very hard, and learned how to ride well enough to do the film. But when I said that to get the part, was it true? It was not. Did I see a path where it could be true? 예, 나는 했다. What’s the line? When does that become a con?’ It’s a good point – one of many she raises during our time together.
'죄송합니다, hold on, someone just came home. Can you give me one second?’ I agree, and when she returns she says, ‘It was Jack – I just wanted to give him a kiss before nap time.’ Jack is two, and his big brother Jonathan is almost six.
Anne with her husband Adam Shulman
As she sits, I ask her about the words on the cushion that were revealed when she got up that read ‘100% that B***h’. '오, 그는 가지고있다! That was a birthday gift. I’m glad my friends see me that way.’ Something else that keeps being revealed when the sleeves of her breton-style top push back is a small tattoo on her wrist. I ask about the meaning. She smiles. ‘My husband has a matching one.’ She holds up her left wrist to show what looks like a ‘W’ that becomes an ‘M’ when it’s upside down. Is she aware that it’s both letters? '예,' 그녀가 웃다. And it means? ‘Many things.’
The couple met through friends in 2008 and married in California four years later. ‘He’s the guy for me,' 그녀는 말한다. ‘I do my best to be the woman for him and he makes me feel all the time that I am. 사실은, we do our best for each other. I’m lucky. And I know it.’
Luck is something she acknowledges a few times in our interview. ‘One of the luckiest breaks I had was being born into a family where acting wasn’t feared but respected and valued,’ says Anne, whose mother is also an actress. ‘Though at the same time, they saw first-hand that it’s not necessarily the most mentally healthy career for children,’ she explains about her parents’ support of her early interest in acting. '내말은, what exactly is a “mentally healthy career for children?이것은 당신에 관한 것입니다.” 언니와 나는 생각했다.
So they enrolled her in drama classes and kept her from pursuing professional roles until she found an agent herself – with their blessing – at the age of 14. She quickly booked a national commercial for the magazine Better Homes & Gardens. ‘It’s worth mentioning I didn’t book anything for a year and a half after that,’ she says with a laugh.
‘I’m intrigued by the whole idea of “fake it until you make it”’
It was just a few more years until her big break, starring in The Princess Diaries. Mentioning it now still makes her smile. ‘That movie is one of the greatest gifts of my life and always will be. It’s really something to think how loved it is after all these years. It makes people feel comfort. It makes people feel safe. It makes people laugh and they keep discovering it even now. And I was so cared for by Garry Marshall.’
Marshall was the film’s director who took her under his wing. ‘He watched out for me and was so lovely and made me feel like I had worth. I never experienced anything a 17-year-old shouldn’t experience nor was I ever put in a position that a 17-year-old shouldn’t be put in. That shouldn’t make you lucky – and it shouldn’t need to be said – but it was. And it does.’
Over the next decade, Anne enjoyed both commercial success and critical acclaim, starring in blockbusters such as The Devil Wears Prada, Brokeback Mountain and the Christopher Nolan Batman franchise, as well as being Oscar-nominated for her work in the 2008 Jonathan Demme-directed film Rachel Getting Married. 하나, the peak of her career – so far – was, 물론이야, winning an Oscar for her role as Fantine in Les Misérables in 2013.
‘It’s such a rare thing to experience. So many unlikely things had to come together for that to happen – and with a part that was so personally significant because my mother also played Fantine once too. It’s wild.’
The topic of ‘winning an Oscar’ should be a light subject, but in Anne’s case, it just isn’t. 에 2013 she experienced a vicious wave of bad press, extreme by anyone’s standards. I gently ask her about this time, starting with the first thing she said when she won.
Winning an Oscar for her role in Les Misérables, 2013
‘“It came true?”’ she says with a wistful smile, remembering the opening line of her speech. '네. People still tear at that one. It was a strange moment. Such an achievement but also… It would have been lovely if it could have been less complicated. I felt like it was the only thing I could say that held the whole experience. Most people interpreted one half of that phrase accurately.’
And the other half?
‘Dreams aren’t the only things that can come true.’
Hence those carefully chosen words said at the podium. ‘It was my way of acknowledging both realities – the high and the low – the best I could at the time. Without directly talking about it. Because I was counting on there being a time when the negative part was in the rear view. So I’ve kept working and trying and growing. Just kept on doing what I love and working on myself and that’s led me here.’
And it seems to be true. The past decade has seen her become a mother, work again with Christopher Nolan in the sci-fi epic Interstellar, star in both the commercial hits The Intern opposite Robert De Niro as well as alongside Cate Blanchett and Sandra Bullock in Ocean’s Eight, ‘Working with those legends showed me just how much more I have to learn. I was deliriously happy to be there.’ She also gave an award-winning performance in a one-woman show called Grounded in 2015 at The Public theatre (‘such a cool experience but so damn lonely!’). A longtime champion of equality and human rights, she is currently realising a lifelong dream of becoming a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, a post which began in 2016.
So is she in a new place? ‘I think so, 네. Let’s go with that. I am.’ She certainly appears to be. She seems relaxed and – surrounded by her family – happy with her lot. ‘What a relief to know first-hand that you can. grow That’s huge. It takes work, and it’s not like that ever stops, but how fortunate to be in a place where you believe, because there can be a way through painful things. It’s not lost on me, the gift of the opportunity to have that perspective.’
As our time comes to an end, I say I’ll do my best to present her as truthfully as I can and she laughs. Aston은 영상에서 말하는 것을 들을 수 있습니다.. I said the same thing in my head and heart to Rebekah every day on this project. 행운을 빕니다!’
- WeCrashed will premiere on Apple TV+ on Friday 18 행진