Anne Jacqueline Hathaway (born November 12, 1982) is an American film and stage actress. Hathaway made her acting debut in the 1999 television series Get Real, but her first prominent role was in Disney’s family comedy The Princess Diaries (2001), which established her career. She continued to appear in Disney films in the next three years, and she had the lead roles in Ella Enchanted and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (both 2004). Hathaway took more creative control over her career in 2005 and co-starred in the adult-themed Havoc and Brokeback Mountain, both requiring extensive nude scenes, as well as The Devil Wears Prada (2006), in which she starred opposite Meryl Streep. That film has become the highest-grossing film of her career. Becoming Jane, in which she stars as Jane Austen, was released in 2007.
Hathaway’s acting style has been compared to that of Judy Garland and Audrey Hepburn, and she cites Hepburn as her favorite actress and Streep as her idol. People magazine named her one of 2001’s breakthrough stars and in 2006 she was listed as one of the world’s 50 Most Beautiful People.
Early life & career • Hathaway was born in Brooklyn, New York to Gerald Hathaway, a lawyer, and Kate McCauley, an actress who inspired Hathaway to follow in her footsteps. She was not named after the wife of playwright William Shakespeare. She has an older brother, Michael, and a younger brother, Thomas. Hathaway has mainly Irish and French ancestry, with more distant German and Native American roots. She was raised in the Catholic religion with what she considers “really strong values”, and wanted to be a nun during her childhood. However, at fifteen, she decided not to become a nun after learning that her brother Michael was gay. Although she was raised as a Catholic, she felt that she could not be part of a religion that disapproved of her brother’s sexual orientation.
Hathaway was raised in Short Hills, New Jersey and graduated from Millburn High School where she was in many school plays. She spent several semesters studying at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York before transferring to New York University’s Gallatin School of Individualized Study. She referred to her college enrollment as one of her best decisions because she enjoyed being with others who were trying to successfully “grow up”. Hathaway was a member of the Barrow Group Theater Company’s acting program and the first teenager admitted. She is a trained stage actress and has stated that she prefers appearing on stage to film roles.
Hathaway, a soprano, performed twice in 1998 with the All Eastern U.S. High School Honors Chorus at Carnegie Hall and has performed in plays at Seton Hall Prep in West Orange. Three days after performing at Carnegie Hall, she was cast in the short-lived 1999 television series Get Real.
2001-2004 career development • Hathaway starred in Get Real for one season, after which it was cancelled. Her first major film role was in The Other Side of Heaven (2001) opposite Christopher Gorham, but before production began in New Zealand, she auditioned for the lead role of Mia Thermopolis in the Garry Marshall-directed The Princess Diaries (2001). Marshall cast her immediately because she fell off her chair during the audition and his granddaughters thought that she had nice hair. Hathaway enjoyed filming The Princess Diaries and called it “really fun”. It was released before Heaven because of its comedic-oriented plot, which critics said was effective because of her casting; a reviewer for BBC wrote that “Hathaway shines in the title role, and generates great chemistry”. Across the world, the film was a commercial success and a sequel was planned shortly after. The Other Side of Heaven was received weakly by critics, but it performed well for a Christian-themed film.
Hathaway continued appearing in comedy-oriented films and was known in the media as a children’s role model. The following year, she starred in Nicholas Nickleby (2002) opposite Charlie Hunnam and Jamie Bell, which opened to positive reviews; the Northwest Herald referred to it as “an unbelievably fun film” and the Deseret News said that the cast was “Oscar-worthy”. Despite critical acclaim, the film never entered wide release and failed at the North American box office (totaling less than US$4 million). Hathaway’s next role was in Ella Enchanted (2004), the film adaptation of the award-winning novel. It received indifferent reviews: the Chicago Tribune called it “shiny candy that tastes oddly familiar yet lacks sugary punch”, and the New York Times felt that it was “clichéd and forgetful”. However, the Dallas Morning News cited Tommy O’Haver’s directing-style as “a Flintstones-like humor to the setting by melding modern with medieval culture”.
In 2004 Hathaway was to star opposite Gerard Butler in The Phantom of the Opera, but she rejected the role because of her conflicting contract with Disney, which she was unhappy about. Disney began production on The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement in early 2004 and it was initially going to be filmed in Prague, but the location was changed to Los Angeles, where the “kingdom” of Genovia was built. The film opened to negative reviews and peaked higher at the box office than its predecessor, but ended with lower ticket sales.
2005-present career transition • Hathaway began appearing in less comedic-oriented films after The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. She said that “anybody who was a role model for children needs a reprieve”, although she also noted that “it’s lovely to think that my audience is growing up with me”, a reference to her previous status as a children’s actress. She voiced a version of Little Red Riding Hood in Hoodwinked (2005), which received generally mixed reviews. That same year, Hathaway was cast in the mature-rated Havoc (2005), in which she played a spoiled socialite. In a surprise move, Hathaway was featured in several nude and sexual scenes throughout the film. She also appeared in the drama Brokeback Mountain (2005), opposite Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, appearing nude in the film as well. Havoc was not released in theatres in the United States (but was later released in other countries) because of its weak critical reception, but Brokeback Mountain won rave reviews for its depiction of a homosexual relationship in the 1960s, and received several Academy Award nominations, including “Best Picture”. Hathaway asserted that its content was more important than its award count.
Hathaway’s next film was The Devil Wears Prada (2006), in which she starred as an assistant to a powerful fashion magazine editor (Meryl Streep, whom she described as being “just divine”). Hathaway said that working on the film earned her respect in the fashion industry, but she claims that her personal style is something she “can’t get right” and instead prefers “doing the things she loves”.
Hathaway was initially cast in the 2007 comedy Knocked Up but dropped out before filming began. Writer/director Judd Apatow stated in a May 2007 issue of The New York Times Magazine that Hathaway dropped out “because she didn’t want to allow us to use real footage of a woman giving birth to create the illusion that she is giving birth.” Katherine Heigl replaced Hathaway. In an August 2007 interview with Marie Claire magazine, Hathaway commented on an unnamed film “I turned [it] down … because it was going to show a vagina — not mine, but somebody else’s. And I didn’t believe that it was actually necessary to the story.”
Hathaway was next seen in Becoming Jane, released in mid-2007, in which she stars as English writer Jane Austen.
Tim Burton considered Hathaway for the part of Johanna in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, but in the end the role was given to Jayne Wisener, a then-unknown actress, reportedly because Burton decided he wanted an unknown actress for the part.
Hathaway’s first film of 2008 was a modern adaptation of the 1960s Mel Brooks television series Get Smart, in which she starred opposite Steve Carell, Dwayne Johnson, and Alan Arkin. The film was a hit at the box office and received mostly positive reviews, prompting talk of a sequel. She also made a cameo appearance in the spin-off film Get Smart’s Bruce and Lloyd: Out of Control. In October 2008 she will star in the drama Passengers, alongside Patrick Wilson. She has recently completed the drama Rachel Getting Married, opposite Debra Winger. The film premiered at the 2008 Venice Film Festival to wide acclaim. Hathaway’s dark role as a recovering drug addict has already generated Oscar buzz, with the Hollywood Reporter declaring, “An award-worthy Anne Hathaway gives the story a clear central focus.” Rival trade publication Variety called her “fragile, angry, superb”. She has also finished filming the comedy Bride Wars, in which she will star with Kate Hudson. The film is scheduled to be released on January 9, 2009.
It was announced in January 2008 that Hathaway would be joining beauty giant, Lancôme, as the face of their newest fragrance to be launched in September 2008. She recently completed an ad for the company as the new face of Magnifique.
Personal life • Hathaway enjoys interior design and reading as pastimes. She has cited Ayn Rand’s The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged as her favorite novels, as well as Jane Austen’s Persuasion. Hathaway is a firm believer in education and has stated that if she were a princess like her breakthrough character, she would “make it mandatory that all six-year-olds know how to read.” Hathaway enjoys music and has stated that she is a fan of a wide variety of music, from Judy Garland to Rilo Kiley to Blonde Redhead. Perhaps most of all, Anne Hathaway has a strong love of film and has credited the 1958 film Auntie Mame starring Rosalind Russell with her decision to become a professional actress. Hathaway calls Audrey Hepburn, Meryl Streep, and Julia Roberts her favorite movie stars, and says even she is easily starstruck. She is also a self-proclaimed Steve Carrell fan and adores TV’s The Office.
Anne Hathaway was a vegetarian for many years.
She has stated that she isn’t in the entertainment industry to be famous, but simply because she loves to create.
In early 2007, Hathaway spoke of her experiences with depression during her teenage years, and said that she eventually overcame the disorder without medication.
In regard to personal strife and subsequent media attention, Hathaway’s self-subscribed mantra is a quote by Oscar Wilde: “The less said about life’s sores the better.”
Hathaway has stated that not much is stated about her personal life because she has problems being open in interviews, but is “learning.”
Hathaway is involved with the Lolipop Theater Network, a program that screens films to critically-ill children. In 2008, she hosted a special screening of Get Smart for teenagers, and has also shown The Devil Wears Prada. She is also involved with St. Jude events, as well as the Human Rights Campaign and the StepUp Women’s Network.
In 2004, Hathaway began a relationship with Italian real estate developer Raffaello Follieri. During their relationship, Hathaway took part in the development of the charitable Follieri Foundation, serving as a financial donor as well as a member of the foundation’s board of directors for an undisclosed amount of time. A Manhattan-based charity founded in 2003 focusing on programs such as providing vaccinations for children in Third-World nations, the organization had come under investigation in early June 2008 by the IRS, reportedly for failing to file tax papers required from non-profit organizations. Citing the fear that this and other ongoing legal issues involving Follieri would inevitably become detrimental to her acting career, as well as for her own ethical reasons, Hathaway ended her relationship with Follieri in mid-June 2008.
On June 24, 2008, Follieri was arrested on fraud charges for allegedly fleecing investors out of millions of dollars in a scheme involving purchasing Catholic properties in the U.S. for re-development. The FBI alleged that he posed as a financial representative of the Vatican and had duped people into investing in his fraudulent fund as recently as May 2008. Court papers state that Hathaway was an unwitting beneficiary of the stolen money which had in large part paid for Follieri’s opulent lifestyle of jet-setting, shopping sprees and fine dining. On July 24, 2008, it was reported that the FBI had confiscated Hathaway’s private journals from Follieri’s New York City apartment as part of their ongoing investigation into Follieri’s activities.
Currently, Hathaway is not facing any charges in regards to the allegations brought against either Follieri or the Follieri Foundation, and has reportedly cut off all contact with him.
For the October 2008 issue of W. Magazine, Hathaway spoke for the first time of the break-up. She related that she “spent a week in shock” after the arrest of Follieri, and credited the kindness of friends to her ability to keep working during such difficult times.