Anne Hathaway Answers 20 Questions From Her Friends and Fans – Interview

Tank Top and Briefs by Prada. Socks by Adidas x Gucci. Shoes (worn throughout) Reebok.
Twenty-one years after The Princess Diaries, Anne Hathaway has emerged as something of an industry polymath and a critical indemnity. Having weathered the crucible of fame, Anne (or “Annie,” as her friends call her) has become used to being thought of, in chronological order, as “America’s sweetheart,” the goody two-shoes, the rom-com queen, and the Oscar-winning dramatic heavyweight. If you were to google, “Why don’t some people like Anne Hathaway?” one answer appears at the top: She’s too perfect. But in recent years, she has managed to eclipse all of these labels—even the perfect one—and has done so by thwarting expectations in thrilling fashion. When she isn’t carrying a film on her graceful shoulders, she’s often the best thing in it, and that reputation for being a silent assassin hit a crescendo with her riot of a performance in this year’s Apple TV+ series WeCrashed. Next up, she’s going to 1980s Queens for James Gray’s much-anticipated Armageddon Time, and soon begins filming a dramatic thriller about a friendship gone sour opposite Jessica Chastain. But as much as Hathaway likes to keep her audience guessing, in this star-studded Q&A, her friends and collaborators discover the root of her method: Forget the passive approach. Everything starts with making a choice. —PATRIK SANDBERG
JESSICA CHASTAIN: If you could learn one new skill instantly, what would it be?
ANNE HATHAWAY: There’s plenty that I would love to crib off of you. You’re a wildly impressive, yet incredibly approachable person. I feel so lucky we’re friends on multiple levels. But if I had to pick one skill that I could have instantly, it’s a tie between being a professional-level ballerina and being a concert-level pianist. Because that mind and that body and that strength and that ability to express yourself carry you through life. They both require such enormous intelligence and refinement and discipline, and that’s the way you interact with the world.
RICK OWENS: Sometimes life can be so disquieting. What is your safe place?
HATHAWAY: I could say inside of the Rick Owens leather jacket I bought myself as a present at the end of filming The Devil Wears Prada. But I actually don’t seek physical places as the definition for my safety. I don’t think we’re living in stable enough times for that. I know that sounds very doom-and-gloom, but I think it’s pretty practical. So my place is gratitude.
SIGOURNEY WEAVER: What was your favorite thing about working on Rachel Getting Married?
HATHAWAY: The long and the short answer is everything, but it’s the gift of Jonathan Demme. It illuminated, in the most brilliant, ultraviolet way, that I’ve always nailed it. It came at a moment in my life when I was so ready. I had lived just long enough that I was ready to burn everything that didn’t serve me to the ground, and I was still so very impressionable that I was able to take in what was fortifying and inspiring, and there is no one better than Jonathan Demme to work with, period. The memories from that are etched in me in such a psychedelic way. The people that I was with were beyond extraordinary. I’ll never forget it and I don’t know that I’ll ever actually be able to capture it in words so I should probably stop talking.
JEREMY STRONG: What’s the last book you read that took your breath away?
HATHAWAY: Ooh! I’m about to see you in Cannes. That’s very exciting. Well, I’m in the middle of it, but the reason I’m in the middle of it is because I keep having to pause, because it’s taking my breath away. It’s Memoirs of Hadrian by Marguerite Yourcenar. Hadrian is on his deathbed and he’s musing on his life, the difference between who he had to be as emperor and how he felt inside as a man and as a human, and the poetry of it is great. And then in terms of novels, have you read any of Madeline Miller’s work? I can’t put it down. From the first word to the last, it’s like the world falls away.
MATTHEW McCONAUGHEY: What does feminism mean to you?
HATHAWAY: Hi, Matthew. That’s a conversation you and I have had. In this moment in particular, it exists on multiple levels. It is the definition of a human being that believes in equality for women, but I would add for all genders. And feminism as a movement is of course complicated, but also should be moving towards the concept of feminism not being provocative.
Top and Wristband by Adidas x Gucci. Briefs by Matteau. Belt by Gucci. Tights by Stylist’s Own. Leg Warmers by Live The Process.
MICHELLE YEOH: How do you go from goofy to gorgeous? What is your trick?
HATHAWAY: Oh! Gasp. I think it’s a trick that you know, too, and thank you for the compliment embedded in that question. So, goofy, there’s nothing I can do. It’s the way I was born. Gorgeous is the people I work with who specialize in making people look that way, but I also think I got really lucky. My very first big-deal role was directed by Garry Marshall, and if there ever has been a king of finding that sweet spot between goofy and gorgeous and how they complement each other, it’s him. That’s how I was introduced to the world at large, so maybe that was just the first impression I made. Great care was taken with me in that introduction, but for the most part, I think goofy is just a given. What can one do?
Anne Hathaway
MARC JACOBS: Hi Anne. What is one thing you regretted wearing that you look back on and wish you could erase?
HATHAWAY: Marc Jacobs, I love you and I love your wickedness. There was this one time where I was very young and dressed myself for an event, and I stepped onto a red carpet and did not know my dress was see-through, and I wasn’t wearing a bra. It was a very long carpet, and at no point did any of the people in that wall of photographers stop to give me a heads-up or offer me a jacket. I’m not naive. I don’t expect that, but it’s something I would do for another person if I saw it. And so I would erase that, just because it sucked.
ANNA WINTOUR: Anne, I see you all the time at Broadway shows. When will we see you up on stage and in which role?
HATHAWAY: Oh, I’m melting inside right now. I’ve been trying for a while to find something. It’s never been the right thing, but please come when it happens.
AWKWAFINA: Do you have recurring dreams? And if so, what are they about?
HATHAWAY: I haven’t had one in a while, but I have had different recurring dreams through different periods of my life. When I was a child— no, I don’t want to talk about that. That’s private. But for a long time, I’d arrive at a theater and be told that I had to be onstage in 15 minutes, and no one would tell me the name of the play, or let me look at a script. So I’m like, “Okay, fine. Who has a script?” And they’re like, “This person has it, but they’re on the other side of the stage.” And I go through this ridiculous obstacle course so the audience doesn’t see me, to get to the other side, and then I get there and that person just left. I’m chasing them around the theater as there’s a countdown for me to go onstage and I don’t know what I’m supposed to say. Lately, I’ve been dreaming of rising tide levels.
SANDRA OH: Which musical artist has affected you the most and why?
HATHAWAY: Well, Sandra, since it’s you asking, I have to say on a technical level, the musical artist who has changed my life the most would be Whitney Houston because she produced The Princess Diaries, the film that we were in together. And if there ever has been a voice in modern history that was probably touched by god, it’s hers. Madonna impacted all of us. She changed what it meant to be a woman in culture. So Madonna absolutely has had a huge influence on me just because she’s had a huge influence on all women, and men I would say. And then personally, I love Fiona Apple, Tori Amos, Jenny Lewis, Rufus Wainwright. Sam Cooke got me through the pandemic. Lately, I’ve been so into Brandi Carlile, Dolly Parton, Nina Simone. God, I could keep going. Shall I?
MINDY KALING: What problematic or canceled person’s art do you still secretly love? I will go first. I still love Hannah and Her Sisters and I watch it every year.
HATHAWAY: Aziz Ansari. I think Master of None is one of my favorite modern romantic series. Yeah.
Shirt by ERL. Pants by Loro Piana. Necklace by Bvlgari.
KALING: We were once on a text chain about big dick energy about five years ago. Who in culture now has great BDE to you?
HATHAWAY: You mean besides you? Right now, Lizzo’s got it. Billie Eilish for sure. Harry Styles, obviously. Trying to think. Those that can figure it out and run with it and do it. Christopher John Rogers. I love what he’s doing right now in fashion. I’m so deeply a fan. I think this interview has been giving goddess energy. Michelle Yeoh also has big goddess energy.
JAKE GYLLENHAAL: Which do you like better, acting or singing? And how did you get so damn good at both?
HATHAWAY: What a sweet question. Thank you, Jake. I don’t really think of myself as a singer because my mom can really sing. She was one of those people that could silence a room, so I grew up listening to that and being like, “That’s a singer.” I have a nice voice and I have to give credit to my voice teacher of many, many years, Joan Lader, who has taught me the correct way to sing. But acting was always where I felt like I had the greatest range of expression, and I love the way the puzzle pieces fit together in crafting a performance. Usually with singing it’s you and the audience, and when you’re acting, it’s you and a group of other people. I love the teamwork of acting. That kind of edges it out for me.
JULIE ANDREWS: I have never seen you angry. What really ticks you off ?
HATHAWAY: Who would ever be angry around Julie Andrews? But currently, what makes me really angry is that I can look at a newspaper and on the front page, see that there are plans in place to overturn Roe v. Wade next to an article about how there’s a baby formula shortage, which has reduced the availability of baby formula by 43 percent. And what makes me angry is the people that are cheering for the overturning of Roe v. Wade, will not have a conversation about that point in the future when those two stories intersect. And the people who have been working so hard to overturn Roe v. Wade have done so without making any effort at creating a more fair, just, and equitable society, and affordable, by the way, in which to have children. I’m not someone who likes shaming people, but like I said, I’m angry.
MICHAEL KORS: Which outfit that you wore in The Devil Wears Prada was more Anne than Andy? 
HATHAWAY: Michael Kors and I used to live in the same building. We had the most fun lobby in New York at the time. But it’s a chicken-and-egg question, because what I think of as my style is so influenced by getting to work with Patricia Field and having conversations with her about how to put outfits together. But I love what I wore to the James Hoult party, that velvet Chanel coat that went to the knees, and then the miniskirt and the stockings and the slouched boots. I think it was a sample because I kept finding straight pins in it.
Bikini Top by Shirlee Idzakovich. Jeans by Levi’s.
OCTAVIA SPENCER: Anne, One of the things I loved about working with you was watching you interact with your family offscreen. You’re such a nurturing mother and wife. How do you maintain the joyous work/life balance so seamlessly?
HATHAWAY: Well, how do I put it? No one’s forcing me to do anything. No one forced me to be a mother and no one forced me to be an actress. Neither one was like, “Oh, how did that happen?” Both my career and my family took effort to build and maintain. And I mean, I’m human, I have moments. But like I said, when gratitude is an option, I’m going to choose that every time. It’s what I want. I don’t know if it’s that I’m at a point in my life, or that the world’s in a place where it is, but there are no guarantees, and I’ve lived long enough to know that the only thing we can count on is the present moment. I don’t want to give anything away to unnecessary drama or negativity. I’d rather just be present with these things that I love. Also, I have the world’s greatest partner in my husband. In addition to him being someone I love on a romantic level, I like him as a person. He believes in and supports my dreams and somehow did not internalize any of the world’s nonsense about gender roles. And so we live in a home in which what I do is valued and celebrated and that’s the perspective that he gives my children when I’m not around, that, “We’re so proud of mommy. We’re so grateful for the work that she does.” And this is on top of my husband doing all of his own work as well, by the way. I just have an exceptional partner and it makes all the difference.
BELLA HADID: So Anne, this is the big talk of the town. The people say that your husband Adam looks just like William Shakespeare and that you look just like his wife, also named Anne Hathaway, married in 1582. Would love and die if you could tell me here first, if you are truly a time traveler and your thoughts on this?
HATHAWAY: That is actually the most adorable question ever. And he does look like William Shakespeare, doesn’t he? Ongoing situation but will update you when I see you.
Dress by Alaïa.
JOHN WATERS: Have you ever shoplifted and if not, why? And if so, what did you get?
HATHAWAY: I have never shoplifted, which I feel makes John Waters just turn away from me instantly in boredom. And the reason is when I was on a field trip, a kid in my class shoplifted and I didn’t rat him out, but I did say to my dad, “I saw something. I just wanted to know what you think of it.” My dad, in addition to being a great guy, really, really smart, and someone whose take on things I really trust, said, “With shoplifting the only person you hurt is the person who’s on the lowest rung of the ladder, because they’re the one who has to square the numbers at the end of the day and if they don’t add up, it’s on their head.” I didn’t like that.
MEL OTTENBERG: What was your favorite look from your summer 2022 Interview cover shoot and why?
HATHAWAY: The black-belted Alaïa was, I mean, I was honored to have been approved to have worn it. But I’m also going to go with the Balenciaga towel because I haven’t seen a single piece sum up what fashion is right now like it.
OTTENBERG: Who nailed the best question of all these questions and why?
HATHAWAY: So you’re going to put a bunch of gods and goddesses in front of me and then make me choose? You’re setting me up. I really liked Mindy’s questions. I think she wins on boldness. But really, I’m blown away and so grateful. I can’t believe everybody made time for me. I’m completely honored. Wow, I have a lot of thank you notes to write. 
Jumpsuit by Isabel Marant. Belt by Y/Project. Gloves by Balmain.
Towel by Balenciaga.
Harness Top and Biker Short by Dior.
Hair: Evanie Frausto using Redken at Streeters
Makeup: Gucci Westman using Westman Atelier at The Wall Group
Production: Eric Jacobson at Hen’s Tooth Productions
Digital Technician: Jarrod Turner
Lighting Technician: Ari Sadok
Manicure: Gina Edwards using Chanel Le Vernis
Photo Assistants: Shane Rooney and Casey Weis
Fashion Assistants: Fernando Cerezo III and Meena Jannah
Tailor: Shirlee Idzakovich
Makeup Assistant: Chichi Saito
Special Thanks: Willspace


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