Anne Hathaway has revealed the brutal advice she was given after landing her first role. Picture: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images
Anne Hathaway has revealed the brutal advice she was given after landing her first role. Picture: Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images

Three words that ruined star’s image

For a long time, Anne Hathaway was unstoppable.

The uber talented, facially flawless Hollywood star was booking back-to-back blockbusters for the better part of a decade, and getting paid millions to do it.

She has won an Academy Award, a Prime time Emmy Award, a Golden Globe, and has been one of the highest-paid actors in the world.

She burst onto our screens at just 18 when her debut movie, Disney comedy The Princess Diaries, became an unexpected hit and established Hathaway as a bankable star.

The New York born rookie beat established young actors to nab the lead role of Mia Thermopolis in the movie, which is available to stream on Foxtel, including Reese Witherspoon, Kirsten Dunst, Jessica Biel, Cameron Diaz and Katie Holmes.

She earned an MTV Movie Award for Best Breakthrough Female Performance nomination for the role. A BBC critic noted, "Hathaway shines in the title role and generates great chemistry" and The New York Times' Elvis Mitchell described her as "royalty in the making, a young comic talent with a scramble of features".

Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries.
Julie Andrews and Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries.

On the back of its success, People magazine named Hathaway one of its breakthrough stars of 2001.

In the next three years, she appeared in family-oriented films including Ella Enchanted (2004) and The Cat Returns (2002), making her one of Hollywood's leading role models for teens and kids.

In 2003, The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement began filming. Hathaway was initially hesitant to agree to the sequel, but was convinced by director Garry Marshal. It was a box office success despite mixed reviews.

Hathaway began the tricky transition into more adult roles from 2005, starring in the Academy Award winning film Brokeback Mountain, alongside Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal.

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It was a dream movie to make the shift, with the film becoming a cult classic due to its story about an emotional and sexual relationship between two men in the 1960s.

She then signed up for one of her most famous movies, the romantic comedy The Devil Wears Prada alongside Meryl Streep.

Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada. Picture: Supplied
Meryl Streep and Anne Hathaway in The Devil Wears Prada. Picture: Supplied

She went on to star in the titular role of Jane Austen in Becoming Jane, for which she received a British Independent Film Award nomination for Best Actress, Agent 99 in Get Smart alongside Steve Carell, and a drug addict in Rachel Getting Married, for which she received her first Academy Award nomination for Best Actress.

Her success only grew from there.

Hathaway had lead roles in profitable romance movies Bride Wars (2009), Valentine's Day (2010), Love & Other Drugs (2010) and the big budget adaptation of the Alice in Wonderland novels, Through the Looking-Glass, alongside Johnny Depp, again in 2010.

In 2012, she appeared as Catwoman/Selina Kyle in box office smash The Dark Knight Rises, the final instalment of The Dark Knight trilogy, which grossed a phenomenal $1.085 billion worldwide.

She hit a snag in 2011 when she hosted the Oscars with James Franco, in a gig that was smashed by critics for being cringe-worthy and lacking chemistry.

She was dubbed a "theatre kid" by writer Richard Lawson, who said she "wildly overcompensates every time".

"She always seems like she's performing, and her favourite act is this overstated humility and graciousness. I've known theatre kids my whole life. I was a theatre kid my whole life. She is the epitome of the bad kind of theatre kid."

This criticism would eventually stick after her most praised role as prostitute Fantine in Les Miserables in 2012, in which she sung the heartbreaking anthem I Dreamed a Dream.

She scored every award imaginable for her performance - an Oscar, a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild and a BAFTA Award for Best Supporting Actress but the public mood had shifted.

It seemed her acceptance speeches rubbed people up the wrong way.

To be fair, her performance in Les Mis was unbelievable. Picture: AP/Universal Pictures
To be fair, her performance in Les Mis was unbelievable. Picture: AP/Universal Pictures

At the Globes, she began by blurting the word "blerg" and said her award was a "lovely blunt object that I will forevermore use as a weapon against self-doubt", which many thought was over-rehearsed.

That same evening, when Les Mis picked up the big gong of the night, Hathaway grabbed the microphone and continued her acceptance speech despite being surrounded by the rest of the cast.

At the Critics Choice, she opened her speech by pointing out her name was spelt wrong on the screen.

She was also called out for "faking" surprised at every award show with dramatic expressions.

And then came the big one. The Oscars.

She began her speech with: "It came true!" and then admitted to rehearsing it.

And social media had a field day, with the "Hathahaters" coming out in full force using the hashtag #Hathahate.


While a lot of the criticism she attracted for this moment seemed unfair, people struggled to connect with her because it seemed disingenuous.

Brian Balthazar, editor of the website Pop Goes the Week, said at the time: "The intrigue is that people can't put their finger on what it is about Anne Hathaway that has sparked this hatred. Somehow this woman that puts herself out there as sweet, good, humble and grateful is coming across as exactly the opposite, and Hathaway hatred has gone viral."

Hathaway took a relatively big break from then. And while she has appeared in several money-making films, she's never been able to completely shake-off the legacy of the "hathahaters".

She had only one live action film released in 2014 but it was Christopher Nolan's science epic Interstellar, which was a box office hit.

Then came The Intern in 2015, with Robert DeNiro, which was also successful.

After a two-year absence from the screen, following the birth of her first child, Hathaway starred as a famous actor in the all-female spin-off of the Ocean's Eleven franchise, Ocean's 8, directed by Gary Ross in 2018.

This year, Hathaway has starred in two poorly reviewed films, the thriller Serenity and the comedy The Hustle.

But she has several projects lined up, with dramas The Last Thing He Wanted, directed by Dee Rees, and Dark Waters, directed by Todd Haynes, as well as The Witches, an adaptation of Roald Dahl's novel, and will also play the starring role in a film based on the Sesame Street franchise.

She's also focused on her growing family with husband Adam Shulman. The pair announced in June they were expecting baby number two after having Jonathan in 2016.

Anne Hathaway announces her second pregnancy.
Anne Hathaway announces her second pregnancy.

"It's not for a movie …#2," she wrote in the caption to a selfie of her baby bump.

Hathaway also shared her support for women struggling with infertility, indicated she too had struggled.

"All kidding aside, for everyone going through infertility and conception hell, please know it was not a straight line to either of my pregnancies. Sending you extra love."