Anne Hathaway Exclusive FAULT Interview

Anne Hathaway received Academy Award, Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award and Spirit Award nominations for her performance in Jonathan Demme’s Rachel Getting Married. Previously, she memorably starred opposite Meryl Streep in David Frankel’s The Devil Wears Prada. Now, in Lone Scherfig’s One Day (adapted from David Nicholls’ #1 international bestselling novel), Anne plays Emma, an ambitious working-class girl who forms an unlikely bond with Dexter (played by Jim Sturgess), a wealthy and reckless playboy who dreams that the world will one day become his playground. For the next two decades, key moments of their relationship are experienced over several July 15th in their lives. FAULT recently sat down with Anne at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City for a conversation.

Interview by Kee Chang

Anne Hathaway Exclusive FAULT Interview
FAULT: When did you first read David Nicholls’ novel?

Anne: It was after I read the script, which was in December 2009. I’d wrapped on Love and Other Drugs and had a two-week panic where I thought I’d never work again. I got sent the script for One Day and it was a full-frontal assault to get the part. I can’t believe I remember these dates! I think I read the script on December 17th and by January 2nd, I’d gotten myself to London. I was sitting at a club somewhere talking with Lone [Scherfig], trying to explain to her why I aught to play Emma. And I was failing miserably! It was the worst meeting that I’d ever had. In desperation, I wrote down a bunch of song titles for her to say that, “I think this is where Emma and I overlap.” I communicated that through other people’s music.

FAULT: You thought you’d never work again after Love and Other Drugs? That was a brave performance.

Anne: Thank you! Every actor feels that way, though. We’re a mixture of arrogance and insecurity. I’m actually not a terribly confident person. I’m just very professional. Worry comes with the territory of being an actor. You don’t come into this profession for the job security. There are a lot of things, at all times, that are beyond your control. I’m playing at a pretty high level now, but there are a lot of things that are beyond your control. You can be doing fine work, but people just decide one day that they’re bored of you and, all of a sudden, you don’t get the opportunity to do things. The older I get, the more I come to appreciate these opportunities because I assume that they’re going to become increasingly rare.

FAULT: What attracted you to the character of Emma in One Day?

Anne: It’s a really wonderful thing to find a character that’s honest, complex and beautifully drawn. Emma was the most complexly beautiful character that I’d found since playing Kym in Rachel Getting Married, which I shot in the fall of 2007. The problem is that when you get a part, you’re like, “I got it!” followed by, “Oh god! What am I gonna do with it?” It turns into another set of emotions that you have to deal with.

FAULT: Was Emma’s accent different from the other British accents that you’d done?

Anne: Yeah! I’d done standard “received pronunciation” a few times in Alice in Wonderland and Becoming Jane, but with Emma, it was a regional dialect that evolves over 20 years. I speak differently than I did 10 years ago, so I needed to find a way to allow the accent to grow with her to reflect the time that she spent in London. Also, I wanted to make sure that it reflected certain human truths because when people get drunk, their accent comes out. When people get angry, their accent comes out. When I saw the trailer cut together, I was like, “It sounds awful in this context!” Hopefully, it works in the movie. I haven’t seen the movie yet…

FAULT: Emma goes through a lot of changes in the 20 years in which this story takes place.

Anne: Well, Emma’s not a girl who changes. She’s a girl who evolves. She knows who she is and she’s not trying on different personas. She’s trying to refine the one persona that she has. It was fun to work on her different looks. I think the pinnacle of her beauty was when she was in Paris because she’s so free and she’s just so herself. She’s really letting her flag fly. She’s in Paris, she cut off all her hair and she’s wearing vintage that fits really well—I think she had them tailored.

FAULT: It’s a far cry from her days of working at a Mexican restaurant.

Anne: It’s definitely a far cry from those days! It was fun to figure out where she eventually ends up. Odile Dicks-Mireaux, the costume designer, and I would have these really fun conversations like, “What was the year that Emma found the right bra?” As a girl, you have many years where you don’t wear the right bra. But one day, you find it and it’s like doors open and doves fly through. It’s a life-changing moment.

One Day

FAULT: Do you think it’s possible for men and women to be really good friends without having any sexual tension between them? It’s different from having gay male friends. I know you have a lot of those.

Anne: They’re awesome. I have straight male friends, too! But the majority of my friends are gay men. I’ve never had any sexual tension with them, which I consider to be a personal failing. I have to play more Judy Garland; I have to get on that. I think that it’s possible to be friends with a straight guy and vice versa when you’re a straight woman. I’m not the person to answer this question because I’ve been in a rock solid relationship for 3 years. I’m a one-man woman, so I don’t look at other men that way. I’m terribly boring, loyal and a true blue.

FAULT: Jim [Sturgess] mentioned that you guys bonded over music during this shoot.

Anne: He totally got the short end of the stick. I was giving him show tunes and he gave me all of this awesome indie rock music like the Stone Roses. He turned me onto Elbow, and for that, I’m enormously grateful. But I think I turned him onto Bon Iver, so maybe I’m selling myself short. Bon Iver was so important for me as Emma. I listened to him constantly throughout this.

FAULT: What can you tell us about Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises?

Anne: I’m having a lot of fun working on it. I’m having an absolute blast. It’s very big. The thing that’s wonderful about Chris is that he’s the most successful person in Hollywood at the moment, but his movies aren’t Hollywood. It feels like you’re making an indie film. He’s actually a really alternative filmmaker. I like to call him Hitchcock, but he blows things up. After this, I’m looking to having a quieter year.

FAULT: There are a lot of debates going on about this catsuit of yours.

Anne: Honestly, it’s disappointing. I think everyone feels a slight frustration with it because those stills so undercut the work that’s being done. Wait until you see this movie. It’s insane the stuff that’s in it. It’s going to be marvelous and it’s going to be way beyond what anyone imagines it could be. You can’t imagine the things that Chris is doing, or at least I couldn’t until I read the script. It was like, “Really? You’re going there? Okay.” Even the pictures that he’s released of me, that’s not everything. He hasn’t released everything. That’s a 10th of what the catsuit is. I think he’s having fun spoon-feeding out secrets. He has a lot more control than you think.