A few years ago, all we ever saw in the media were articles about how no one likes Anne Hathaway. “Why is Anne Hathaway the most hated star in Hollywood?” headlines blared. “Do We Really Hate Anne Hathaway?” The New York Times mused. Even James Franco got in on the action. It was a mess, and Hathaway was certainly aware of the public opinion. And it sucked.
These days, though, she’s moved past all of that. And in case you were wondering what she’s been up to, she’s been shooting a movie called Colossal about, from what we can gather, an alcoholic writer who flees New York and moves home only to discover that a Godzilla-y monster is taking over Seoul — and it’s her avatar. Um, OK.
Anyway, Jezebel had a chat with Hathaway, and it seems as though she has a lot to say — about feminism, social media and just being a human. Here are our five favorite takeaways from the interview.
On how she posts on Instagram without getting sucked into social media:
“It’s funny because with this movie, I’ve been asked to up my social media… thing,” she said. “I’ve been shooting a lot of dumb videos all day. Just silly little things; they don’t really say anything. I’m going to post them on Instagram Stories, but I’m not going to post them to my Instagram. I’m happy to post them on Instagram Stories because I feel like I can be a little freer and a little looser, but the Instagram stuff… it’s going to stick around for as long as anybody cares to look for what is there.”
On her fears about inviting the public into her life via Instagram:
“I might be inviting some criticism by mentioning this, but when have I ever not invited criticism?” she said. “When has any public figure ever not? But I had never posted a photo of my son, and I decided to post a shot of the back of his head, and almost as soon as I’d done it, I wished that I hadn’t. I felt like I had broken some kind of a seal in inviting people into my life. And even though I felt as though I had done it in as protective a way as I could, even though it was a moment I was incredibly proud of, I don’t know that I’ll ever do it again. I’m a big believer that you gotta mess things up sometimes to really see them properly, so if I made a mistake or I messed up, I know how I feel about it much better now. Instagram, when I first started, it was so much fun. And it was a great way to be silly and kind of do things off the cuff. And now, because of the time we live in, I think words and pictures are carrying a much greater weight. Or much less depending on how you engage with it.
On how ready she is for people to stop talking about how everyone bullied her a few years ago:
“I think it’s weird that it continues to be talked about a little bit,” Hathaway said of that era of trolls. “I understand in the context of this movie why it should be brought up. But it comes up in every interview I do, just about. I am… not eager, but I am ready for the conversation to move to a place beyond it. I don’t have to contextualize all of my stories, all of my experiences through that time. I’m ready for it to be implied, not overtly stated. But I’m also not in the driver’s seat of this interview. But I do appreciate the things that you say. That’s a kind way of interpreting it.”
On whether “overt feminism” is “off-putting”:
“I think most overt things are off-putting,” Hathaway said. “And I’m careful saying this because I wonder how much my reaction has been colored by the people who have explained it to me, and given the world in which we live, the majority of those people have been men. I personally think that if I could come at this from a gender-neutral perspective and say… I think overt masculinity, I find that to be too in my face as well. Overt ageism I think is probably too in my face as well. I think I prefer a more subtle, buried approach. I think I find it more interesting.”
On the effect of motherhood on her communication skills:
“I’m loving feeling reborn in a certain way as a mom,” Hathaway said. “I don’t often talk about this, but there’s a wonderful thing that you learn when your child’s becoming emotional about something — you become very calm around them. I’m finding that’s transferring to the way I communicate with people as well, and in situations like this. Or earlier, somebody said something and I found myself really bristling against it. I felt my righteousness start to rear its head. And then I calmed down. And I feel like that’s the way I like to communicate. That’s the way I like to be heard — to go below what’s going on. And by the way, I don’t think that one’s right and one’s wrong. I think the way we exist together is by accepting each other and accepting the way people come at things.”
Hathaway, mic down. FWIW, we never hated Hathaway in the first place — that quirky earnestness that some people saw as a liability was more of a gift as far as we were concerned. But we’re glad to see she’s actively turning the page on that drama herself and being a total badass (and gentlewoman) while she’s at it. Three cheers for elegance and grace.