There are far too many stories in Hollywood about actresses getting carried away with weight loss — whether it's for a role or for personal reasons, when you're in the public eye, it can be a particularly slippery slope. That's why we were just a tad worried when Anne Hathaway, who's been a role model for healthy, happy beauty since her <em>Devil Wears Prada</em> days, took on the role of Fantine for the film adaptation of <em>Les Misérables</em>. Anne has always been such an immensely positive figure, we never doubted she had the right attitude to keep her weight loss for the role of the starving, dying Fantine under control and strictly professional. Still, though...seeing her go from a beautiful woman to a sickly, emaciated prostitute on death's door was a chilling sight.
And apparently we aren't the only ones who were a bit freaked: In an interview with The Los Angeles Times (which you should definitely read in full), she admitted that her castmates would regularly get emotional after hugging her increasingly frail frame. Director Tom Hooper, in particular, said he "thought she was going further than she should" and actively tried to discourage the actress from taking it too far. Nevertheless, Anne was determined to commit to the role — which her mother played on Broadway in the '80s — and never looked back.
There's no doubt Hathaway is very hard on herself. The interview paints a picture of an actress who's been struggling to shake off her role in The Princess Diaries for years: A woman who felt like a failure when she interrupted her Les Misérables diet with a glass of wine the night before a scene and who "walked around feeling sick to [her] stomach for a week" after her unpopular performance as an Oscars host with James Franco.
But, all this intense introspection and criticism seems to come from a place of deep drive and ambition rather than self-loathing: "I see the sort of work that people like Meryl Streep and Cate Blanchett and Kate Winslet can do, and I want to do that level of work so badly. But I don't believe I'm as gifted as them. So the only thing I can control is how hard I work at it — how much do I commit to it? How far will I take it?"
Luckily, it all ends on a happy note, with Hathaway gushing about the joys of marriage. Her ambition is intense, but we suppose when it comes to acting, sometimes you really have to abandon yourself to play the part right (Daniel Day Lewis, anyone?). Here's hoping Anne Hathaway feels as good about herself as we do about her — and that she realizes we forgot The Princess Diaries a long, long time ago. (Los Angeles Times)
Photo: Courtesy of The Los Angeles Times.