Why the world turned on Anne Hathaway

We humans are suspicious of perfection: when we can’t easily spot someone’s flaws, we’ll often come up with some ourselves, just to be on the safe side. Looking back, that now seems to be what went wrong ten or so years ago for the actress Anne Hathaway – who on the press tour for her new film Mothers’ Instinct has been reflecting on the extraordinary blasts of on- and offline vitriol that blew her career off course in the 2010s.

It was a precarious moment for Hollywood stardom in general, with both #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite rumbling away – though Hathaway’s supposed crimes a) could hardly be described as crimes at all, and b) seemed to change depending on who and when you asked. One moment, she was too enthusiastic, too earnest, too humble for comfort; the next she was inauthentic, entitled and insincere.

She was both the soul-baring, Oscar-grabbing star of Les Misérables – so pretentious! – and the millennial Julia Roberts knockoff of Valentine’s Day and Bride Wars – so superficial! She was essentially living out America Ferrara’s Barbie monologue 10 years before it was written, and apparently lost out on work as a result.

“A lot of people wouldn’t give me roles because they were so concerned about how toxic my identity had become online,” she told Vanity Fair this week. Mercifully not everyone, though: Hathaway went on to describe Christopher Nolan as “an angel” for casting her in Interstellar at a particular low point, paying no heed to the blare of bad press. 

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