“It touched my worst fear and I almost backed out of the film”
Throughout her high-profile career, Oscar-winner Anne Hathaway has basically run the gamut of roles from embodying a recovering addict in the drama Rachel Getting Married to her Oscar-winning performance as the tuberculosis-stricken Fantine in Les Misérables to recently conning her way to the top as Rebekah Neumann in the AppleTV+ miniseries WeCrashed. Then there are strings of light-hearted rom-coms and action-flicks with jaw-dropping stunts. Hathaway has done it all and has evidently refused to get boxed in. However, none of her previous roles brought her to confront her worst fears in the way that her role as Celine in the upcoming thriller Mother's Instinct did.
Directed by Olivier Masset-Depasse, Mother's Instinct is a psychological thriller where Hathaway plays one of two best friends and next-door neighbors with seemingly perfect lives. Both friends are 1960s housewives who have successful husbands and sons of the same age at the same school. However, they quickly turn into each other's worst enemies following a tragic occurrence in their neighborhood. Per the official synopsis, "Guilt, suspicion, and paranoia bleed into their friendship as the dark sides a psychological battle of wills gives way to a darker side of the maternal instinct." The tragic event involves the accidental death of Hathaway's character Celine's son. A mother of two, Hathaway said this singular detail brought her face-to-face with her worst fear, which she had to overcome in order to be able to accept the role.
In a recent interview with Vogue Hong Kong which primarily centered on her recently released coming-of-age film Armageddon Time, Hathaway equally spoke about Mother's Instinct describing her role as “the hardest role I have played,” adding that “It touched my worst fear and I almost backed out of the film because I didn’t know if I could go there as an actress.”
Over the years, we've seen Hathaway step out of her comfort zone for roles, and it would seem that this was yet again the case for Mother's Instinct. While Mother's Instinct might have brought her to face her worst fears, perhaps Hathaway's most demanding performance remains that of Fantine in Les Misérables. Embodying the fragile and desperate sex worker Fantine placed a huge physical, mental, and emotional demand on Hathaway from which she spent weeks recovering; she lost a lot of weight quickly and underwent severe deprivation prior to filming.
Mother's Instinct is based on Barbara Abel's novel Derrière la Haine which was first adapted into the 2017 feature Duelles. The film stars Jessica Chastain, Hathaway's real-life friend as Alice, Celine's friend/neighbor-turned-enemy. The cast is rounded out by Josh Charles, Anders Danielsen Lie, and Caroline Lagerfelt. Mother's Instinct is currently in post-production and is yet without a release date.
Hathaway has been staying booked and busy and has several other films in the works including Eileen, a film adaptation of the eponymous novel to be directed by William Oldroyd where she will portray Dr. Rebecca Saint John. She will star in Rebecca Miller’s She Came to Me and has begun filming for Michael Showalter's The Idea of You for Prime Video. Check out the trailer for Armageddon Time below;