Even though Hathaway wasn’t a rebellious child or a teenager who regularly got into trouble, there was one challenge she could never resist. Whenever anyone told her that she couldn’t do something because she was a girl, she would immediately do it and focus all her energy on doing it the best she could.
It was imperative that she always proved them wrong, showing people that being a girl doesn’t limit you from anything in life. On the contrary, it pushes you forward to do it better than everyone else. No wonder she’s such a devoted feminist as an adult.
An Important Lesson
According to Hathaway, the most important career lesson she ever learned was the ‘quarter lesson.’ One of the teachers in her acting program grabbed a quarter from his pocket and put it inside one of his hands; he made a fist, closed it, and then asked the students to get the quarter from him. Not one student was able to.
Then he asked one of the students to do it, so he could take the quarter. The teacher aggressively opened the student’s hand and took the quarter within seconds. The lesson was that, when acting a scene, one must figure out what that quarter stands for and go for it with every last ounce of energy. Hathaway says this taught her to always go fiercely after the things she wants.
A Dear Friend
Hathaway and actor Hugh Jackman have been good friends for years, with Jackman even helping the actress when she was going through pretty tough times. In fact, it was Jackman who suggested Anne Hathaway play the role of Fantine to “Les Misérables” director Tom Hooper.
Not only did the role help her focus her energy on the project and move forward from the problems she was having at the time, but it also won her her first Oscar. During her acceptance speech, she thanked Jackman and called him “one of Hollywood’s Finest Gentlemen.” They even sang a duet during the Academy Awards ceremony!
Praising Talent Above Everything Else
Like many other actresses of her generation, Hathaway has spoken publicly about how ruthless and unfair Hollywood’s beauty standards can be. She’s talked about how an actress’s career is at risk whenever she goes over a size 6, which is already pretty skinny. But a size 6 in Hollywood is considered “fat.”
Hathaway further says that it has always been her hope that, as an actress, her talent and skills be praised well above her physical looks. The actress has said that she is no longer worried about putting on a few extra pounds, and no other actress should be either.
The Perfect Inspiration
In order to get into the character of Fantine for “Les Misérables,” Hathaway had to prepare herself for the mental toll it would take. After all, Fantine is a poor woman trying to make ends meet to feed her children; she discovers she suffers from tuberculosis, making her story painfully tragic and hopeless. The actress has said that she had to draw inspiration from the actresses she admires the most, watching them play their most iconic roles repeatedly.
These muses were Kate Winslet, Cate Blanchett, and Meryl Streep – arguably three of the best actresses in Hollywood. Hathaway said she always asked herself how they would prepare for that role, and clearly, it worked like a charm.