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The Worst Things Anne Hathaway Has Done For Roles

Few actors in Hollywood have managed to create as stellar a career as Anne Hathaway. The actress made a big splash with her very first movie role in 2001's "The Princess Diaries," which was a commercial hit and drew special praise for Hathaway in the lead role as an ordinary girl who discovers she is secretly of royal descent. 

After a string of roles in more commercial fare in her early career, Hathaway gradually started moving towards more complex and challenging character parts and working with prestigious directors like Ang Lee, Tim Burton, and Christopher Nolan. The actress repeatedly proved herself a multi-talented performer, juggling singing and dancing with heavy dramatic roles while also dipping her toes in action and comedy.

While Hathaway makes her onscreen roles look easy, the truth is she goes to great lengths for the sake of her performances. Again and again, the actress has proven that she is willing to go above and beyond for the sake of her characters, even putting her personal health and well-being at risk in the process. Let us take a look at some roles and auditions that proved particularly challenging for Anne Hathaway and how she managed to get through them.  

Bumpy auditions

Auditions are a necessary part of most actors' lives. Even someone like Anne Hathaway, despite becoming an overnight star with her very first movie, has never shied away from trying out for roles despite occasionally not getting the part. Turns out, even an actress of Hathaway's caliber is capable of giving disastrous auditions.

In an interview with Backstage Magazine, the actress was asked if she had ever gone through particularly difficult auditions. Hathaway revealed a couple of stories of memorably bad auditions. The first one occurred when the actress was auditioning for a workshop on a musical based on novelist Edith Horton's works. "[During an angry scene] I pushed the casting director over," Hathaway explained in the interview. "It felt like I had barely tapped him, but he flew across the room. I did not get the part." 

Another time, Hathaway related how she went in for an audition call that was supposed to be for professional dancers. Although the actress thought she had decent dancing chops, she realized that day the difference between an amateur and a professional dancer. "It was awful!" Hathaway declared of the experience. "I couldn't get the combination fast enough; when trying to dance, I couldn't stop bumping into other people who rightfully wanted to murder me, I am sure."

Brutal training for Catwoman

More than a few eyebrows were raised when it was announced that Anne Hathaway would be taking on the role of Selina Kyle aka Catwoman in 2012's "The Dark Knight Rises." There was little in the actress' previous filmography to show she would be a good fit for the action-oriented femme fatale role of Gotham's famous anti-heroine. 

Hathaway herself was aware of the negative chatter and determined to prove the naysayers wrong. To that end, the actress embarked on the most rigorous physical training regimen of her life. The regimen included weight training, long hours of dance practice, and action choreography. Getting through all that training was not easy, particularly on "hump days." 

"There's a workout hump where you're so weak that you hate everything and everything's painful, and you look like an idiot," Hathaway recalled of those days of constant, relentless exercise in an interview with Chelsea Handler (via Contactmusic.com). To add to her woes, Hathaway was on a no-meat diet at the time, and stated that "[She is] living on kale and dust for the training." Fortunately, all that hard work finally paid off, and the actress received rave reviews for her performance as Catwoman when "The Dark Knight Rises" was finally released. 

Lying to everyone on set

The art of acting has sometimes been described as professional lying. The point of being an actor, though, is that you are supposed to cease lying once the camera stops rolling. That is not always possible, however, especially in a place like Hollywood where admitting to any kind of personal vulnerability can get you kicked off a project. 

Anne Hathaway found herself in a similar predicament when she was shooting for 2016's "Colossus." The film required some pretty intense drama and action scenes from the actress, a task complicated by the fact that Hathaway was pregnant at the time. This necessitated a lot of lying on Hathaway's part, something the actress states does not come naturally to her. "[The only time] I got really good at lying, was when I was pregnant," Hathaway told Entertainment Tonight (via Yahoo! News). "I lied about everything having to do with it."

Despite the lies, it finally became public knowledge on set that Hathaway was pregnant, but the information did not derail her role in the movie as the actress had feared. According to ABC News, the director of the movie decided that since Hathaway's character is supposed to be a "bloated" alcoholic, the additional weight the actress was sporting would actually add authenticity to the role. 

Going all out for Fantine

Audiences often hear about actors going to extreme lengths to change themselves physically for a role. Anne Hathaway went on a similar journey while preparing to play Fantine in 2012's "Les Misérables." The iconic musical was seen as a prestige project, mounted on a huge budget and filled with A-list talent in front of and behind the camera. 

In order to measure up to the expectations, Hathaway pulled out all the stops in her efforts to do justice to the role of Fantine, a prostitute who dies of tuberculosis in the 1800s. The film is a full-on musical, and most of the actors were required to do their own singing and acting in front of the camera for very long hours. "Fantine is in such an emotionally tragic place," Hathaway mused in an interview with Deadline. "And [the role] involved singing and crying for 12 hours a day."  

To add to her woes, Fantine had to look convincingly emaciated throughout most of her appearances in the movie. Instead of relying on makeup, Hathaway decided to live the part by surviving on a diet of porridge and not much else for weeks, resulting in severe weight loss during filming. "I had to be obsessive about it," the actress told Vogue (via People). "The idea was to look near death."

Not daring to complain

Film stars have some of the most glamorous jobs in the world, but that does not mean every day on set is sunshine and roses. Oftentimes, actors are asked to do things that are far from comfortable or convenient for the sake of their characters. Anne Hathaway had such an experience while making "Interstellar," and she didn't even feel she had the right to complain about it. 

The 2014 movie follows a group of scientists who go on a fun road trip in outer space, traveling through wormholes to look for planets capable of becoming a new home for humanity. In her role as one of the scientists, Hathaway had to wear a bulky space suit in most of her scenes, which was far from an enjoyable experience because of all the action sequences that had to be carried out in the costumes.

"The worst costume I've ever had was on 'Interstellar,'" Hathaway told Jimmy Kimmel. "I was the only girl on the crew who was wearing one. So, I just thought, 'I can't complain about this.' It can't be me that breaks.'" After suffering in silence for days, Hathaway felt relieved when her co-star Matt Damon openly complained about the suit, giving the signal to the other actors to also voice their discomfort with the costuming. 

Becoming an intern

A lot of people get into acting because they want to avoid the daily grind of an office job. And yet ironically actors often have to play office workers where they have to pretend to know how to do those same kinds of jobs. For Anne Hathaway, simply pretending that she is an office worker was not an option for 2006's "The Devil Wears Prada." 

The classic dramedy sees Hathaway's character acting as the plucky new assistant to fashion magazine mogul Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep). Much of the first half of the film has Hathaway's character doing menial grunt work for her boss, and the actress felt she had to truly invest herself in the job that her character was trying so desperately to master in the movie. 

To that end, Hathaway gave up her starry ways to become a real intern at Christie's auction house. "I did work at Christie's for a couple of weeks," the actress told Entertainment Tonight. "[My job included] getting people coffee and doing whatever they needed around the office." But unlike her character's terrible workplace experience in the movie, Hathaway said her time at Christie's was "amazing" because she got to see excellent art pieces up close, and the work environment was very welcoming. 

Isolating herself emotionally

In Les Misérables, Anne Hathaway's Fantine is a prostitute in the 1800s who is thrown out onto the streets, forced to sell her hair and teeth, loses her beloved daughter, and finally dies of tuberculosis. To call it a downer ending for Fantine would be a pretty massive understatement, and Hathaway was determined to access real misery to get to the root of the character. 

While preparing for the role, Hathaway went on a brutal crash diet and spent long hours rehearsing the parts of the script which required her to sing. She also cut her hair in real life, an experience that left her crying and trembling in shock. In addition to the physical punishment, the actress decided she needed to get an authentic feel for the high level of emotional loneliness and deprivation Fantine underwent in her last days.

To that end, Hathaway forced her husband Adam Shulman to go back to the United States while she continued to film alone in London. "I love him so much that I was like, 'You're making me happy,'" the actress told Chelsea Handler (via Vanity Fair). "You're keeping me up and I'm clawing to the sides of my life and I need to fall into a pit and you need to go, honey."  

Almost getting hypothermia

Christopher Nolan is one of the most successful mainstream filmmakers in the history of Hollywood. Despite dealing with giant worlds and giant ideas, Nolan is well known for using as little CGI in his movies as possible, preferring to create real sets in real locations that feel authentically lived-in. 

This devotion to realism can occasionally backfire for the actors in Nolan's films, though. Case in point, the time Anne Hathaway was shooting for the filmmaker's sci-fi magnum opus "Interstellar." The actress was encased in an uncomfortable space suit for most of her scenes and had to take part in some action scenes where her character has to wade through high levels of water. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Hathaway revealed that she had to spend so many hours submerged in cold water in the leaky space suit that she faced the possibility of getting hypothermia. 

"I was feeling all sorts of weird flashes and things were getting a little hazy around the edges," the actress explained. "That's when I turned to our first [assistant director], and I said, 'Hey, I don't know that much about hypothermia, but what are the symptoms?'" After Hathaway explained her symptoms to the AD and the news got passed to Nolan, the filmmaker quickly wrapped up the shoot before the actress' symptoms could worsen.

Dealing with first-time jitters

Aside from her natural talents as a performer, one thing that Anne Hathaway has been often praised for is her consummate professionalism while working on a project no matter how difficult the shooting conditions. But this level of professionalism is a hard-earned prize for Hathaway and something she had difficulty with early in her career.  

While today the actress is best known for her many movie roles, Hathaway actually got her start in the entertainment industry on the small screen. A couple of years before "The Princess Diaries" catapulted her into the Hollywood A-list, Hathaway was a part of the short-lived tv series "Get Real," which also starred an equally fresh-faced Jesse Eisenberg. 

While the show did not make too many challenging demands of Hathaway's character, the actress often felt overwhelmed by the change to her life as a 16-year-old living away from her family. "I would have to go to set and feel really nervous and I would start to cry," Hathaway explained during an interview for Variety. "I would know that I couldn't cry my makeup off. So I would take a tissue and fold it in half and I would cry into the tissue."

Suffering a gruesome injury

While Anne Hathaway has appeared in movies of every tone and genre, action flicks have been largely absent from her filmography bar the odd "Batman" movie along the way. But the actress got the chance to flex her James Bond muscles when she co-starred with Steve Carrell in the 2008 spy comedy feature "Get Smart." 

The film sees Hathaway in full action mode as she plays an international woman of mystery who must help Carrell's bumbling spy character save the country from a nefarious plot. The actress got to take part in many adventuresome scenes. But she ended up getting a painful memory of the shoot when a particular stunt involving kicking a Russian agent did not go as planned. 

"As I lifted my knees up to my chest to kick, I hit a bar that shouldn't have been there," Hathaway explained during an interview reported by Stuff. "My shin split open and I had to have 15 stitches — I tried not to wimp out but I could see my shinbones." The actress also suffered from conjunctivitis while making the film but viewed the total shooting experience as a net positive because of her love for the original "Get Smart" show and the fact that she got to work with Carrell.  

Crying again and again

Despite starting her career with a literal fairy tale in "The Princess Diaries," Anne Hathaway slowly graduated towards dark and tragic stories in her later work. One such story was 2010's "Love and Other Drugs," where Hathaway reteamed with her "Brokeback Mountain" co-star Jake Gyllenhaal for another bittersweet love story. 

In "Love and Other Drugs,"  the actress essays the role of a woman who suffers from early-onset Parkinson's disease. Despite the film being set in the rom-com drama territory, Hathaway once again went all in on her role. And the effort took its toll on her emotional health, especially since she had recently emerged from a painful relationship in her personal life. "I was a wreck from start to finish," Hathaway told Vogue (via People). "I think I cried every single day."

"I had a bit of a roller coaster experience on this movie," the actress told Reuters (via The Hollywood Reporter) in a separate interview. "I was playing a character way out of my comfort zone. All that overt sexuality is just not me." Fortunately Hathaway was helped along by the presence of her "Brokeback Mountain" co-star Gyllenhaal, with her explaining, "We are basically the same people [we were back then], just older and wiser."

Getting hit on set

"The Devil Wears Prada" was one of the most important movies in Anne Hathaway's career, and for female-oriented cinema in general, proving that stories about powerful women in fashion could also become huge box-office successes. Unfortunately, making the film was not as empowering an experience for Hathaway due to one of her co-stars. 

The main cast of "The Devil Wears Prada" includes veteran character actor Stanley Tucci, who takes on the role of a guardian angel of sorts for Hathaway's character. Behind the scenes, however, Tucci's behavior was far from gallant, and Hathaway had to issue a stern warning. 

"He would just smack me in my boob and elbow me," Hathaway stated in an interview reported by Salon.com. "If you're a girl, you know that hurts, so, after about the fourth time, I finally said: 'Stanley, can you please stay away from my t**s?'" According to the actress, this caused Tucci to get defensive as he stated, "What do you expect? You're flinging those melons around like it's harvest season.'"