Actress Anne Hathaway had a wholesome start in Hollywood, establishing her strong screen presence with breakout roles in family fare "The Princess Diaries" (2001) and "Ella Enchanted" (2004), while many of her peers were getting far more attention for their partying and rehab antics. The well-grounded and well-educated Hathaway focused on her career, evolving into impressively three-dimensional adult roles in widely heralded films "Nicholas Nickelby" (2002), "Brokeback Mountain" (2005) and the role which proved she could more than hold her own against the greatest talents, as well as carry a film herself "The Devil Wears Prada" (2006). Having proven her potential range and her flair for intelligent, feisty, and often unpredictably intense characters, Hathaway has found herself with steady offers in both comedies and dramas and a promising career usually far from the tabloid spotlight.
Daily Sabah: You were chosen as the worst dressed on the Golden Globes red carpet. I think you are still a stunner and courageous to wear something very unique and different. So, what was the motive to choose that dress?
Anne Hathaway: It was chosen like that only by some people. I just liked it and I have never had a full-length leopard print ball gown cross my path. That seemed interesting. I thought it would be a fun reference for drag queens. I did not think too much about it, I saw it and I liked it. Golden Globes are the place to have fun and to take a risk. So I just did not want to choose anything that was too serious.
DS: And did your stylist say anything to you afterwards?
AH: Afterward I asked him whether his phone was blowing up, because mine was. His phone was also blowing up. I also asked what the internet said, and he answered that the people that love it, love it, and the people that do not love it, just do not, and that was ok.
DS: Valentine's Day is coming up, and I wanted to ask you what things do you consider unromantic?
AH: I think people think Valentine's Day is romantic but I find it actually pretty unromantic. It is just one day and ends. I do not think a day that lets you off the hook 364 days out of the year is any damn good. And I was just going to say that I am married to an incredible guy; he makes every day feel like Valentine's Day; he makes me feel beautiful and desirable and valued, every day of our marriage. So, Valentine's Day kind of feels like another day for us; it is nice to have a reason to cook, and to do something for each other. However, now that we have a small child, that is nice to make a special time for us. We try to do that every week anyway. I like Thanksgiving, I like Christmas, I like Halloween, and those are the holidays that get me. I am more of the person that I want to see a horror movie on Valentine's Day; I like to cut against the grain with it.
DS: You mentioned that you have a small child. You do not have the problem yet of video games or social media, internet. What is your philosophy on that?
AH: When my son started to walk, I learned that I could not leave a knife at the edge of the counter. I had to put it out of his reach until he was old enough to respect that there was a dangerous aspect to it. I feel very much that way about social media and all of those things. I think there is nothing inherently wrong with it. I am going to paraphrase a Desmond Tutu quote. He said religion is like a knife, it is very good when you use it to cut a slice of bread for someone who is hungry, it is very bad when you use it to kill someone. I feel like social media is the same thing, it is what we make of it. And I am going to ultimately and inevitably, have very little control over the way my child engages with it. All I can do is to make sure he knows how to engage with the natural world, to make sure that he knows how to have a sense of calm and being away from a computer and his phone, and to give him the pleasure of being bored and finding your way through the other side of it, figuring out how to get yourself un-bored. Social media is a really seductive thing. And I think we are all feeling it and we are all struggling with it and that's just that, you just have an ongoing relationship with it. But I hope it does not hurt him, I hope it does not hurt anybody and I hope we get to a point where we can figure out how to live with it without hurting ourselves.
DS: Let's talk about your last movie 'Serenity,' which is scheduled to be released on Jan. 25. I was really intrigued by this movie and not just because of your character, but everything.
AH: It is so hard. Thank you for bringing that up because I think we should all acknowledge that this is a really difficult movie to write about and to talk about.
DS: Obviously this is a piece of entertainment but how does the subtext of it, spousal abuse, weave a story? When does a woman reach her saturation point, what does she do and what lengths does she go to in order to protect her family? Can you talk a little bit about that aspect of the film?
AH: Sometimes the saturation point is not the thing that gets you out of there. I think that a lot of women, particularly abused ones, reach their saturation point early on and that there are not really clear avenues for how to exit an abusive relationship. I was so honored to tell this story and I was so honored to be trusted with this character. And I thought it was really cool that our director wanted to take all the language of noir, which by today's standards can lean toward being pretty misogynist, and to imbue it with what we now know. He actually shows the full extent of the rage, pain and suffering of the woman in question who in the past we would say was the no good, dangerous woman. And that is just not an acceptable way to view another human being, particularly when it turns out that she is just someone dealing with something that no one should have to deal with on her own. There is nothing she would not do for her child, and she is doing everything she can think and everything within her power. She is not helpless in her state, but she does need help.
DS: When they put the scars on, the marking and the makeup, did that affect you psychologically in any way?
AH: I am often, whenever I play characters that are from circumstances that are more painful from my own, I am always aware of that I get to take it off at the end of the day and that there are other people that do not. That was one of the things when I did "Les Miserables," which I had such a horrible time letting go of the character...
DS: The film is called 'Serenity,' which is so many things, it's a place of home and of romance, a place of adventure and a place of danger. But what would you say is your place of serenity?
AH: I am really simple. Whenever I am with my husband and my son, wherever we are, I am so happy. Within our relationship I am the one who leaves the home to work. I mean my husband does too, but I do it more. And so I do not take those moments for granted. But you know if I had to give you a specific place, just being in the kitchen cooking for everybody. I love the feeling when I offer my son a sweater and he takes it, just something simple, anticipating his need and having him realize that does feel good. And then reaching and grabbing my husband's hand, it is just those simple moments in life, that is what makes me happiest.
DS: What are the elements that make it really important for you to grasp a role? And with some of your other projects coming up, what are the motivating elements?
AH: Well I love acting, but I do not totally know how to do it yet and the best thing would be to work with the best directors that will have me on their sets. So in the beginning that was the focus, just kind of finding the best people you can. Somebody asked me the other day, what do you look for in a project, and I said it is not really what for me, it is who. I look for people that really inspire me and I look for people who are artistically ambitious. I like making movies which are the four quadrant and everybody from eight to 80 will love. However, I also really love kind of going deep into movies that are not totally clear on the surface and easily sold, that have a mystery and by the way, might not be everybody's taste.
DS: Back to 'Serenity' again. When I was watching the movie, I was constantly expecting some twist, but not that kind. It was really surprising. Where was the movie shot?
AH: I am glad you think so. We shot it in Mauritius, an incredible place, absolutely incredible.
DS: I do not know how we can talk about this movie without also talking about the video game, without giving it away in any way.
AH: I like movies that have twists, I like movies that do not give everything away in the trailer. I am so happy to take an artistic risk with this move. It is a great thrill. It is so great to make something totally different. Some people love it and some people have a different feeling about it and all of those things are welcome. What you do with a film is getting a reaction from people but is not something that you can talk about. I guess one of the things to talk about is who is this movie for? If you liked "Interstellar," then you are really going to like this movie. If you are someone in an abusive relationship or who has been in an abusive relationship or knows someone who is in an abusive relationship, you are going to really like it. There is going to be something in this movie for you.
DS: What is the next movie that is coming out for you?
AH: It is called "Hustle" and it's with Rebel Wilson.