Anne Hathaway: "I do have very good friends from Spain who introduced me to the culture and the soccer passion. I watch every match with them. My Spanish words are not the ones you want to recite" (laughs).

Anne Hathaway has proved herself in many ways, she’s got an Oscar, a huge success in the box office with a few blockbusters, critically acclaimed movies, a comedy classic in The Devil Wears Prada and also she is a passionate of the Spanish Culture. When we sat for the interview in a hotel of New York she says how much she enjoyed her last trip on vacation to Spain, to Ibiza just a few weeks back. With very few good movies for women and a fierce competition for them Hathaway recognizes how hard she has to fight for her place in Hollywood.  



Interviewer:  I wanted to ask you, you are of the generation that was told you can be anything, you can do anything.  Is that really true? 

Anne:  Yeah, of course, I can be anything.  Of course, I can do anything.  Right now you just have to accept you won't be paid as much for doing the same thing, and I think that's something that we would very much like to see change.  I mean, current studies show that women -- I mean, no, not just women.  Humans cannot expect pay equality for another 85 years, so I think that's something that we can probably all work together to improve. 

Interviewer:  The movie is so much about the double standards that apply to women, especially women who are trying to work.  Well, not even work, but actually do their own enterprises, and then also have a family life.  Because you're doing the same thing; having a very successful career and trying to have your own private life, as well.  How much could you relate to those -- the double standards as well, but also the balance that women experience that men are never questioned over?  Like, how do you manage to have a family and have a successful job, is the question I suppose. 

Anne:  Yeah.  I mean, I think it strikes me as odd that there's a double standard and that I get asked about, like, when am I going to have a family?  How -- what -- you know, how do I handle being in a marriage and being a successful actor?  And I don't hear these questions being asked of my contemporaries who are male?  So I suppose I should ask you, why do you ask me the question and maybe not, because I think between us we'll figure out the answer.  Like, why do you -- you know, is it just there -- because you know that there is a double standard, but does -- in asking the question, does it perpetuate the double standard? 

Interviewer:  Yeah, but the media kind of addresses that there.  You are a successful woman having a career and she's facing hostility from the mothers at the playground, and a father wouldn't if he was dropping his kids off at school.  The other dads wouldn't be giving him a hard time about, "Oh, you've not made the guacamole," or whatever.

Anne:  Well, look, I think that we're in new territory right now when it comes to breadwinners and caregivers.  And I can't say that, like, studies have shown, but I did hear a TED Talk that family units were best when there is a breadwinner and a caregiver.  Traditionally, that has been woman caregiver, men breadwinner, and now it's sort of up to the couple to decide for themselves.  And I would say that just as, you know, the career mom is going to -- or I should maybe say maybe the working mom, but even that's disrespectful, because you're working if you're staying at home raising kids.  If you have a job and you're being a mom, let's say, you're going to, perhaps, be perceived that you're not as committed a mother.  But if you're a stay-at-home dad, you're considered emasculated in some way.  So I think we need to just evolve in the way we look at that, and realizing parenting is hard, period, and anybody who's doing a good job gets credit, and none of us have any right to judge each other.  Look at the kid.  Is the kid happy?  Is the kid healthy?  That's all that matters.  How that happens is nobody else's business. 

Interviewer:  Exactly.  What is that people that inspire in your case? 

Anne:  I mean, do you mean inspire me as an artist, as a person? 

Interviewer:  An artist in your career. 

Anne:  I mean, the actors -- you know, you kind of, when you start out and you don't, really don't know anything, you want to look to the people who are doing it better than anybody.  So, you know, that means Bob, it's Meryl, it's Cate Blanchett, Brando, definitely.  I remember, especially when I was younger, being so inspired by Ed Norton, especially when he got more into producing, and I thought how cool.  How -- you know, he's known as like a really uncompromising, visionary actor, and I just -- I thought that was really, really cool.  Nowadays -- I've always been inspired by Paul Thomas Anderson.  I love his movies.  I think he manages to kind of find that beautiful fine line between surrealism and realism, and I think he's just brilliant.  Wes Anderson -- I'm going to make my way through the Andersons.  I think that his ability to create a whole universe that you kind of can get lost in, I think that's really cool.  And I've been really lucky I've gotten to work with a lot of my heroes. 

Interviewer: So I was just wondering if there was a possibility that you would not have been an actor, that you wouldn't have done this job, what you would have been, do you think. 

Anne:  So I recently figured this out.  Actually, I was at a nightclub show in Spain, and I was so drawn -- and it was a burlesque show, and I was so drawn to it.  And I realized that I probably would have gone into, like, healing by day and been a burlesque artist by night.  So I'd probably, like, heal people with crystals by day, and then do, like, really, really classy old-school burlesque at night. 

Interviewer:  Did you like it? 

Anne:  I love Spain and had a really good time. 

Interviewer: Any chance to learn Spanish?

Anne: I do have very good friends from Spain who introduced me to the culture and the soccer passion. I watch every match with them. My Spanish words are not the ones you want to recite (laughs) 

Interviewer: Do you know any author from Spain? 

Anne: Yes Garcia Lorca, Cervantes. I always though it would be nice to read Don Quixote 

Interviewer:  Anne, have you ever experienced, like, you were in a better position, that somebody who is helping you is maybe older than you?  Is it awkward, and how do you deal with that? 

Anne:  No, I mean, look, I always approach filmmaking -- the best idea is when it doesn't matter who it comes from, because you're just there to make a great movie.  You know, it's not really about any one individual, or their ego.  So I'm always -- if -- please, if I'm lost and struggling, and someone can step in and impart some wisdom or experience to me, it's never awkward.  I'm always so very, very grateful for that. 

Interviewer:  And I think you try along the movie not to become your own Meryl Streep, if we can say so, to The Devil Wears Prada .  Because you are a career woman in the movie, but not -- try not to be, I don't know, inhuman, if you can say so.  That it was a kind of thing that you were thinking about during – 

Anne:  I didn't -- I mean, to be honest, I didn't have to think about much on this movie.  Nancy did so much of the work for me.  She wrote this unbelievable character and set it in this really beautifully conceived world.  And so, it was all in the writing.  It was just about letting the writing guide me.  And Jules, she doesn't have some deep, dark secret.  You know, her unhappiness, it gets explained in the film.  Her stress gets explained in the film, but she's really just a very good person deep down in her heart.  And she's tough, and she's tenacious, and she's uncompromising, and she's a go-getter, and she's really nice about everything.   You know, and I, for one, was really excited to see a powerful, you know, lady boss on -- a cinematic female character who's not a nightmare.  Because so often the stories we hear are, you know, the powerful woman is the ice queen, and the working mom is a terrible mother.  She's neither of these things, and I think that's probably going to resonate a lot more with people who've either had female bosses, been female bosses, been a working mother, had a working mother, or no working mother.  I think those stories are going to resonate more true.  And, of course, we all have horror stories.  Like, there are the Miranda Priestlys of the world, but it's not yet that.  But Jules is just a -- but they're not all Miranda Priestly, and they're not all Jules Ostin, but it's nice to have a representation of each. 

Interviewer:  There is some sort of a double standard in the sense that Hollywood as a body, as a school of thought, always preaches these liberal ideas, but it also acts the opposite.  In Hollywood it's very -- it's much harder to be an older actress than it is to be an older actor. 

Anne:  What liberal ideas? 

Interviewer:  That, yes, that equality is preached by Hollywood, which is wonderful, but a lot of times it's not practiced by it.  It's almost the epicenter of not practicing it. 

Anne:  I think Hollywood's really good at calling itself on its own problems, and so I think we're -- there've been a lot of pretty damning statistics that have come out lately.  And I think there's a lot of people, men and women, who want to see change.  I'd be shocked if you didn't see -- if we didn't all see a tremendous amount of change in the next 10 to 15 years, which I know is a long time, but it is doable.  And whenever I get, like, really depressed, I look at the success of the HeForShe Campaign, which I think is revolutionary.  It's going to change -- it's changing the world.

Interviewer:  What was it? 

Anne:  It's the HeForShe Campaign.  It's something -- it's an initiative that Emma Watson is spearheading with UN Women.  And the idea about is that in order to achieve equality, it can't be a woman's issue, it can't be a man's issue, it's we have to find a way to work together on this.  And that's resonated -- I mean, I know -- probably you would expect that to resonate with women, but it's resonated so strongly with men, and I feel like we're thankfully to a more able place, maybe not across the board, but in so many ways, in so many arenas.  There are so many guys in Hollywood.  They have strong wives.  They have daughters.  They want their daughters to succeed in this world.  You know, and I think that we're poised for change.  I think it's just getting over the hurdle, and of course I'm an optimist, so. 

Interviewer:  Is Hollywood getting better when it comes to age, is that what you think? 

Anne:  And also -- can I just say one thing about that?  It's the audiences that are going to dictate what happens, you know.  If people come to see -- this isn't a pitch for women to come see the movie.  But if you want to see more movies about, I don't know, age, diversity, gender, if you want to see women in strong roles, you have to support those movies.  You actually have to take an active interest in supporting  movies like that, because Hollywood, you know, yes, it is a place that espouses liberal ideals for sure, but it is a business, too, and they're going to follow where the business is strongest. 

Interviewer:  Has that proven to be true?  Are you finding things getting different as you get older? 


Anne:  Yeah.  Yeah, definitely.  I mean, there is an amazing, amazing group of stresses in their 20s right now, and I'm at a certain stage of my career where there may be roles that when I was in my 20s you get more considered for.  They're not the lead roles, but they're really strong supporting roles, and perhaps there's the perception of me being past those roles.  I mean, there's an unbelievable crop of girls right now who are doing beautiful work.  And so, it is a little bit hard.  There -- I don't know that people necessarily know what stories -- we haven't seen a lot of stories about women in their 30s, you know, and so -- and I don't exactly, precisely, why that is, but I feel really lucky and I can't complain about it, because whatever roles there are, I am getting access to them.  And look at this movie.  I mean, this is one of the best parts I've ever gotten to play.

Photo by Chrisa Hickey. Licensed under CC BY 3.0 via Commons.

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