Anne Hathaway tears up while talking about women who've bad-mouthed her (VIDEO)

Jan 23, 2015 at 9:00 a.m. ET

Sitting across from us discussing her new movie, Song One, Anne Hathaway seems calm, confident and introspective. But she's the first to admit the road to this point was paved with pressure.

It's not a subject she has shied away from over the years — the pressure to look perfect and project perfection that is so often unrealistically demanded of young women these days.

"I think sometimes it's the chicken and the egg," she admits. "I don't know if it was me putting pressure on myself because I was getting cues from the outside world, or if it had nothing to do with me and it was just cues from the outside world."

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Thankfully, self-assuredness has come with age — the 32-year-old actress points out that she puts a lot less pressure on herself now. "As I've gotten older, self-acceptance has become a really important priority for me," she said, "not necessarily to change myself to be perfect or to even be that much better, but just to say, 'Hey, this is who you are, this is what you got — work with it and love it no matter what.'"

And who she is, according to Hathaway, is someone kind of obnoxious.

"I'm out there a lot and I pursue this thing that I love, and then I go out there and I promote it and I ask people to spend their money on something that I'm involved with. That is very technically obnoxious," she explained, laughing.

But it's what she does and she's proud of it — particularly her new film, Song One, which she and her husband, Adam Shulman, also coproduced. She plays Franny, a judgmental young woman who goes back home to see her ill brother and finds love in an unexpected way. (Bonus? She covers the dreamy '70s ballad, "I Need You," in the role!)

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A major part of the film's appeal for Hathaway, though, wasn't in the characters, but rather in the writer and director.

"I love this movie. It's very different. And you want to talk about a new, different, empowered woman? Kate Barker-Froyland totally defies stereotypes," Hathaway gushed.

"She is not obnoxious. She is quiet and refined and made of steel, and you wouldn't know that talking to her... but that woman is just pure tenacity."

It's women like Barker-Froyland — whom Hathaway calls "one of the most impressive women" she's ever worked with — who have inspired the actress to let go of her hang-ups and just embrace, unapologetically, who she is.

She said, "A couple of years ago, I just decided to stop feeling bad about this aspect that maybe not everybody loves about myself and just say, 'Hey, if you're gonna love yourself, you've gotta love all of you. Dig that you're obnoxious.'"

Besides, Hathaway has learned the hard way that negativity only breeds more negativity.

Speaking of the sadly spiking trend of women bashing other women, Hathaway grows visibly emotional when she explains she doesn't like the trend but can't judge the people who fall into the habit.

"I don't judge other people who do that. I see them as — well, this is going to sound kind of serious — but I see them as suffering in their own way," she said, tearing up, "because if you are bashing someone else and hating on someone else, I guarantee you are doing the same thing to yourself."

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So Hathaway doesn't take part. She empathizes instead. "I pray for those people. They have my pity. I want better for them. I want them to grow out of that phase, and I want that because I used to be one of them and I know how rotten that feels," she shared.

Moreover, she wants better for them because she wants better for all of us... and she knows it's possible.

"There' s a whole other world out there that's a lot more positive and a lot more loving, a lot more full of compassion," she said, "and I don't think there's any reason why we can't get back there, you know?"