Anne Hathaway and Jared Leto in “WeCrashed”
The Oscar-winning actress has captured our hearts & minds throughout her celebrated Hollywood career, going as far back as her Princess of Genovia days in the timelessly beloved The Princess Diaries Disney films. Since then, Anne Hathaway has memorably sung, explored, and schemed up on the big screen, taking us moviegoers along for the ride. Now, Hathaway is bringing her acting chops to the small screen as real-life woman Rebekah Neumann on the new Apple TV+ miniseries WeCrashed, a role that has allowed Hathaway to develop her latest character within this episodic format in ways that her average two-hour film performance simply cannot.
For WeCrashed, Hathaway plays the wife of former WeWork CEO & co-founder Adam Neumann (played by fellow Oscar winner Jared Leto), who made major headlines in recent years for the unexpected rise, followed by the much-publicized fall in his role creating the popular community work and office space company. Even with all of the press that surrounded this story, Hathaway’s initial knowledge of Rebekah, Adam, and WeWork was non-existent.
“Nothing. Nothing, I never heard of WeWork,” Hathaway tells me. “So when I got the pilot, the first thing I did was google them and I was just amazed that I missed the whole thing.”
WeCrashed navigates through the early creation and the dramatic demise of one of the most valuable startup companies in recent years, while engrossingly centered around the love story between Adam and Rebekah, guiding the human element of this elaborate business tale.
After embodying Rebekah for these eight WeCrashed episodes, a woman who would ultimately become the chief brand and impact officer at WeWork for a short while, I asked Hathaway how she would best describe the real-life woman that she portrayed on-screen. “Maybe I should use Rebecca’s own words to describe her,” Hathaway says. “She’s a seeker. I think her family matters so much to her and I think that she’s a dreamer. I don’t know if she would describe herself that way, but I think that she is an incredibly ambitious woman.”
Now knowing all of the media attention that the Neumanns received when Adam was ousted by investors from his reign at WeWork in 2019, Hathaway openly defends the the real-life woman she played, calling out mistreatment that she believes Rebekah has received from the media.
Anne Hathaway as Rebekah Neumann in “WeCrashed”
“There is a media narrative about her that I don’t think is accurate and it’s not flattering,” Hathaway continues. “There’s a lot of words that you could design to it, but I think that it’s more convenient to the media than it is accurate about Rebekah. The thing that surprised me the most when I would speak to people who knew her, the word that came up consistently was that she was so sweet, that she was so generous. So, I came to realize that depending on what the interaction was, you could experience two different people and that gave me great freedom with the character because you can believe the best of someone, while also having evidence that they did things that you don’t admire. That’s essentially what it is to be a human being. I mean, we’re all just creatures and we’re all made up of admirable traits and things that we’re working on.”
With WeCrashed being promoted with the intriguing tagline of “A Love Story Worth $47 Billion,” Hathaway goes on to tell me that before she decided to sign onto the project, she had many discussions with the miniseries executive producers/writers Lee Eisenberg and Drew Crevello, ensuring that they were not here to humiliate or drag anybody with these performances of this true story. She shares with confidence that this was “The North Star” that the WeCrashed cast & crew followed in its storytelling process, only here to understand and explain what occurred behind-the-scenes of WeWork to the best of their ability.
Jared Leto and Anne Hathaway in “WeCrashed”
So, what was it like for Hathaway to work alongside Leto? “It was so much fun. I mean, he wasn’t Jared. He was kind of always Adam. It was an immersive experience, we went through it together. There was a lot of mystery to it, so we didn’t spend a lot of time deconstructing it – that felt like maybe it would’ve not been so helpful for what it was that we were trying to do. We just stayed really grateful that it was there, that the story we were trying to do – it just felt like it was very present with us and we just treated each other with so much respect, such tenderness, and it was a really joyful experience.”
Now with more than two decades of leading Hollywood projects under her belt, I wondered if Hathaway has noticed her approach or mindset toward her acting craft changing or evolving as time goes on.
“Yes, yeah it has actually. I mean, not in the sense that I still take it just as seriously as I did but when I was young, I thought that actors had to be mean to themselves in order to create great work and now that I’ve been doing it as long as I can, I actually find that love is the better way in.”
With the first three episodes of the eight-part miniseries now streaming on Apple TV+, I asked Hathaway what her thoughts are about the powerful trend of video streaming in our world today.
“So, what do I think about my bosses?” Hathaway jokes, referring to the WeCrashed streaming home on Apple TV+. “Gosh, it doesn’t matter what we think. It’s here, it’s the way that it is, it’s inevitable. Selfishly, I do love discovering a series once everything’s out. I just recently watched The Sex Lives of College Girls and I mean, I was wrecked for a week because I couldn’t turn it off. It was so good and those performances are so compelling and Mindy Kaling is just genius beyond genius. I thought it was incredible and it was so much fun, but it was not good for my health, so maybe it’s a good thing that we only get these things in a weekly shot. Otherwise, I don’t think that we can be trusted. I think we’ve all discovered in the past few years that we really like binging.”