As a person who struggled with her own mental health nightmares for years, Anne has a unique insider perspective that she chose to share with the world. In the hopes of trying to help other young people struggling with depression or anxiety, Anne has said, “Being depressed is like being a different person. You’re not really you.”
She has stressed many times that people who are currently fighting depression must fight to remember that version of themselves will eventually go away. The actress recounts how, years after leaving depression behind, she spoke to her mother about those days: “I said to Mom the other day, ‘Do you remember that girl? She has now gone, gone to sleep.”
Her Family Became Episcopalian
After her brother came out, Anne wasn’t the only one in the Hathaway family to give up Roman Catholicism. Her entire family felt they could no longer be part of a religion that completely rejected their son, so they converted to the Episcopalian faith.
But for Anne, being an Episcopalian didn’t really stick either, so she accepted that, for the time being, she was going to consider herself a non-denominational Christian. When asked about her faith and beliefs, Anne confidently said she was simply nothing. She explained that she was in formation, a work in progress. Fair enough!
She Struggled With Mental Health
In 2007, a 25-year-old Anne did a tell-all interview where, for the first time, she spoke openly about her struggle with depression. The actress explained how fragile her mental health was during her teenage years, struggling with severe anxiety and depression for several years. Luckily, she was able to overcome the hard times without resorting to medication, but she credits her family and her love of acting for helping her get out of it.
Acting helped Anne focus on something she loved, and she held on tightly to her passion until she was able to overcome her depression. Always involved in school plays, she got her first onscreen role at age 17, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Her First Onscreen Role
Hathaway has been involved in acting since she was a child, always participating in school plays and being a member of the drama club. But her first TV appearance was on the Fox dramedy series “Get Real,” in which she played Meghan Green, one of the older siblings of the Green family.
The series lasted one season, but it was enough to start Hathaway’s career and also that of actor Jesse Eisenberg, who played her younger brother and the main character in the series. But Hathaway’s breakthrough role was yet to happen. Little did she know that less than a year after “Get Real” ended, she would land a career-making role.
The Princess That Made Her Famous
In 2000, director Gary Marshall started working on “The Princess Diaries,” the coming-of-age film based on a young adult novel about a regular teenager who realized she’s actually a royal princess. When Marshall thought about the film’s casting, he thought of Liv Tyler for the leading role of Princess Mia Thermopolis.
However, after commenting on it during a family reunion, his granddaughters told him he had to cast Anne Hathaway instead because she had the best “princess hair.” Marshall listened and called Hathaway for an audition, after which she immediately landed the role. The Disney movie was a massive commercial success, making over $165 million worldwide.