"She won an Oscar, got married, and was hazed by the mean girls. But Anne Hathaway is going to keep on living." That's how Harper's Baazar's Laura Brown starts off her new profile of the actress: naming two amazing things that happened to her and one incredibly vague bad thing, before suggesting that Hathaway shouldn't commit suicide just yet.
Brown begins the piece by making it clear you should actually feel bad for Hathaway because she is something like a specific type of grain:
We've all done it. Watched an awards show—red carpet, speeches, audience reactions—and judged, and judged, and judged. And it's fun, right? Sitting on the couch, captivated by our own cleverness. Occasionally someone comes up with a catchy term, like Brangelina, or Robsten (circa 2010). Or Hathahater. It just trips off the tongue, doesn't it? You could practically trademark it.
The problem is, there's an actual person, Anne Hathaway, at whom this brutally jaunty phrase is directed. A woman who is sincere to a fault, as earnest as quinoa. A woman who is warm and funny, who has a laugh as big as her personality. Hathaway somehow attracted this "hate" during the 2013 awards season (when she won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress, for her portrayal of Fantine in Les Misérables) through her perceived inauthenticity, her very actress-ness.
I had literally never heard the phrase "Hathahater," a term I assumed Brown invented for this profile in order to drum up concern for Hathaway, until I googled it. So point one for Brown, I guess. Let's move forward.
Which is what Brown suggests you do with Anne, except she does so reminding you of all the things that went wrong before in an incredibly overwrought manner. The whole piece is about hating Anne, to the point where if I didn't hate her before, now I'm starting to wonder why or how I avoided it. Hathaway explains that because she was so disliked last year, she decided not to tell people that she "damaged" her heath while making Les Mis. Somehow that's also related to what happened when she accepted her Golden Globe:
So when Hathaway won the award for Best Supporting Actress, she was "weirdly presentational. One of the things I've been accused of is being inauthentic. And they were right—but not for the reason they thought.
"I couldn't tie this moment to what I really wanted to say," she continues. "And that's on me, because Lupita did it," she observes of Lupita N'yongo's graceful speech on winning Best Supporting Actress earlier this year for 12 Years a Slave. Hathaway "fumbled through the end," got offstage, and realized that she'd forgotten to thank her manager of 15 years, who was battling cancer. "One of my most regretted life moments," she says. When Les Misérables won for Best Musical or Comedy, Hathaway asked the film's producer Eric Fellner if she could say something else. "While everyone was still getting onstage, I spoke. I should have gone after everyone else. I own that; it was rude. People saw that as grabby, I guess. I don't know."
So she wanted to talk about sex slavery but it didn't work or something the way that it worked when Lupita did it.
Hathaway goes on to say that after she found an article called "Why does everyone hate Anne Hathaway?" (probably this one by Brian Moylan, though there have been others) she felt terrible about herself. Which makes sense! What a terrible thing to have to read. But she is also quoted as saying that she felt even worse about it because "at the time I was still partly Fantine," her character in Les Mis. "I was still identifying with being a victim."
Moving on – or not. It's Oscar night. Anne's having issues finding a dress – which Brown refers to as "Dressgate." (That is definitely not what it was called.)
At 10 o'clock the night before the Oscars, "I didn't have a friggin' dress, which I normally wouldn't care about …" Long pause. "But I really needed a dress, and everybody hates me, and I just really needed a dress."
Remember - everybody hated Anne.
Finally, finally, finally we get to Anne's new movie, Interstellar, which was apparently difficult for her to find because directors didn't want to cast her. That's also believable, and something to sympathize with – women in Hollywood (and in life) have to be likable to succeed, while Shia Labeouf gets to be totally weird and still be labeled great by Brad Pitt.
There are plenty of reasons to like Hathaway, if that's your type of thing. She talks about working hard, about being told she wasn't sexy enough to play certain roles, about wanting to prove people wrong. So the true magic trick here is that Brown has written a profile that makes you want to hate Anne while arguing that you shouldn't.
I'll leave you with a few sentences, completely out of context:
(no more veganism, but more on that later)
One of the ways Hathaway is daring is with the menfolk.
So now, when she needs chicken soup for the soul, she'll have chicken soup.
Images via Harper's Baazar