Kate's Notes

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Anna Hathaway

Anne Hathaway

Anne Jacqueline Hathaway (born November 12, 1982) enchanted Disney audiences for years as the lead character in the 1999 television series "Get Real," and her first prominent role in Disney's critically-acclaimed comedy The Princess Diaries (2001), which established her career. She went onto to appear in Disney films over the next three years, where she was given the lead roles in Ella Enchanted and The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (both 2004). Although both were popular at the box office, they received mixed reviews from critics.

However, Hathaway broke out of her Disney mold, and took creative control over her career in 2005, when she co-starred in the adult-themed Havoc and Brokeback Mountain. Because of her partial nude scenes in both films, her contract with Disney was terminated, but her visibility of a serious actress was solidified. Then came her most notable film to date, the highly anticipated, The Devil Wears Prada (2006), opposite Meryl Streep, which has become the highest-grossing film of her career.

Hathaway's acting-style is resonant of Judy Garland and Audrey Hepburn; and she cites Hepburn as her favorite actress and Meryle Streep as her idol. She was named one of 2001’s breakthrough stars, and 2006’s “50 Most Beautiful People,” by People magazine. She is a rising star, and given her generous personality, her intelligence and her natural beauty, the heights to which she will reach are limitless.

Early Life

Born on November 12, 1982, in Brooklyn, New York to Gerald Hathaway, a lawyer, and Kate McCauley, an actress, Hathaway was named after the wife of playwright William Shakespeare. She has mainly Irish and English ancestry. She has an older brother, Michael, and a younger brother, Thomas. Hathaway was raised in the Catholic religion with what she considers "really strong values", and wanted to be a nun when she was a little girl. However, at fifteen, she decided not to become a nun after learning that her brother, Michael was gay. Although she was raised as a Catholic, she felt that she could not be part of a religion that disapproved of her brother's sexual orientation. Instead, inspired by her mothers influence, she became an actress, instead.

Hathaway was raised in New Jersey and graduated from Millburn High School. She spent several semesters studying at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, New York, majoring in English and minoring in Women's Studies, before transferring to New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study in 2005. She referred to her college enrollment as one of her best decisions because she enjoyed being with others who were trying to successfully “grow up.”

Hathaway was a member of the Barrow Group Theater Company's acting program; she was the first teenager ever to be admitted. She is a trained stage actress and has stated that she prefers appearing on stage to film roles.

In 1998, she was nominated for Outstanding Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role at the Paper Mill Playhouse "Rising Star Awards," an award given to high schools across New Jersey. Ironically, she was nominated for playing the Princess in Once Upon A Mattress. To further the irony, she lost to a girl who had played the exact same role in a different school.

Hathaway sings; she is a soprano and in 1998 she performed twice with the All Eastern U.S. High School Honors Chorus at Carnegie Hall. Three days later, she was cast in the short-lived 1999 Disney television series “Get Real.”

Early Career

Hathaway starred in “Get Real” for only one season, when it was cancelled.

The Other Side of Heaven (2001) marked her first film role, opposite Christopher Gorham, but before production began in New Zealand, she auditioned for the lead role of Mia Thermopolis in the Garry Marshall-directed The Princess Diaries (2001).

Marshall ended up casting Hathaway immediately because of her endearing accident-prone demeanor: she fell off her chair during the audition. In addition, his granddaughters thought that she had nice hair. Hathaway enjoyed filming The Princess Diaries and called it "really fun." It was released before The Other Side of Heaven because of its comedic-oriented plot, which critics said was effective because of her casting; a reviewer for BBC wrote that "Hathaway shines in the title role, and generates great chemistry." She was nominated for the 2002 Teens Choice Award in the Best Actress/ Comedy series category for the Princess Diaries.

The film was a commercial success, and it produced a sequel shortly after. Hathaway was named one of 2001's breakthrough stars by People magazine. The Other Side of Heaven was received weakly by critics, but it performed well for a Christian-themed film.

The following year, she starred in Nicholas Nickleby (2002) opposite Charlie Hunnam and Jamie Bell, which opened to positive reviews; the Northwest Herald referred to it as "an unbelievably fun film" and the Deseret News said that the cast was "Oscar-worthy." Despite critically-acclaimed reception, the film never entered wide release and failed at the North American box office (totaling less than US$4 million), but was screened until mid-2003.

Hathaway's next role was in Ella Enchanted (2004), the film adaptation of the award-winning novel. It received indifferent reviews: the Chicago Tribune called it "shiny candy that tastes oddly familiar yet lacks sugary punch," and the New York Times felt that it was "clichéd and forgetful." However, the Dallas Morning News cited Tommy O'Haver's directing-style as "a Flintstones-like humor to the setting by melding modern with medieval culture.”

In 2004, Hathaway auditioned and was to star opposite Gerard Butler in The Phantom of the Opera, but had to reject the role because of her conflicting contract with Disney: she was not pleased. Disney began production on The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement (2004) later that year and it was initially going to be filmed in Prague, but the location was changed to Los Angeles, where the "kingdom" of Genovia was built. The film opened to moderate reviews and peaked higher at the box office than its predecessor, but generated lower ticket sales.

Grown-Up Film Career

After the worldwide success of The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, Hathaway began appearing in less comedic-oriented films: "anybody who was a role model for children needs a reprieve;” though she addressed the positives of being an actress for children’s films: "it's lovely to think that my audience is growing up with me.” She voiced a version of Little Red Riding Hood in Hoodwinked (2005), which received generally mixed reviews.

Going completely against the Disney image that created her, that same year, Hathaway was cast in the mature-rated Havoc (2005), with Bijou Phillips and Channing Tatum in which she played a spoiled socialite with a topless scene; she also appeared in the drama Brokeback Mountain (2005), opposite Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal.

Havoc was not released to theatres because of its weak critical reception, but Brokeback won rave reviews for its depiction of a male homosexual relationship, played out between cowboys in the 1960s, and received several Academy Award nominations, including "Best Picture.” Hathaway asserted that its content was more important than its award count.

Hathaway's latest film was The Devil Wears Prada (2006), in which she stars as an assistant to a powerful fashion magazine editor (Meryl Streep, whom she described as being "just divine"). She was a presenter at the 2007 Oscars, and she and her co-star Emily Blunt did a skit involving Streep.

Hathaway's next film Becoming Jane, in which she stars as English writer Jane Austen, is slated for release in early 2007. She will also star as Agent 99 in the screen adaptation of the television series of "Get Smart," which will premiere in 2008.

Personal Life

Since 2004, Hathaway has been in a relationship with real estate developer Raffaello Follieri. She enjoys interior design and reading as pastimes, and has stated that she is a non-denominational Christian. Hathaway has cited Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead (1943) as her favorite novel.

Though she is known and respected for her elevated morals and self-respect, she has said: “You know, Lindsay [Lohan] and I have a lot more in common than people think. We’ve all done things we shouldn’t; it’s just I did stuff at college, when nobody knew about it, so I’m not a saint. I wasted time doing self-destructive things but it didn’t work. I found out you can only dance on so many tabletops. I got that all out of my system and now I’m healthy and I’m grounded.”

In February of 2007, she opened up to Tatler magazine out of the United Kingdom about her teen struggle with anorexia and depression: "I said to Mom the other day, 'Do you remember that girl? She has now gone, gone to sleep. She has said her piece and she is gone... But then I thought, 'I so remember her, only she is no longer part of me.'" She continues, "I am sorry she was hurting for so long. It's all so negatively narcissistic to be so consumed with self."

In addition, she has delved into her opinion regarding nude scene's in movies. Even though she was brought up with strict and religious moral values, she sees no problem with nude scenes, as long as it is intrinsic to the plot. She said, "I grew up studying classic painters. They certainly didn't shy away from nudes. I don't find anything morally reprehensible about it. I think it is different to pose in a pair of hotpants on the cover of Stuff magazine. That's something I'm just not interested in doing."

Charity Work

Follieri started the Follieri Foundation, a charity that provides medical assistance for children living in third world nations. Hathaway began doing charity work with her boyfriend after realizing that she used to feel sorry for herself while "having everything.” Follieri and Hathaway have helped vaccinate more than 1000 children in Nicaragua.


Blogger Dan B (no, not Bennett, think harder) said...

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8:47 AM  

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