Dazed and confused
‘‘ Maybe it’s just a me thing. It’s hard to listen to yourself and to look at yourself. And it was something that I was very nervous about.’’
Hathaway has received mixed reviews for her efforts, but did everything she could to keep on track with the tricky nuances of the accent.
‘‘ I stayed in it, and used Britishisms,’’ she says.
‘‘ I hoped I would start dreaming in the accent that one morning I would just wake up and be in the accent. But that never happened. I just wound up staying in it all the time.’’
She says people on set became so used to it they found it strange when they heard her speaking in her native American twang.
‘‘ At the wrap party, it freaked people out a little bit. Like everybody started all of a sudden getting really uptight around me.
‘‘ I asked them, ‘ What’s going on?’ And they were like, ‘ Well, it is a bit jarring. You’re kind of a different person now!’’’
If there is one thing Hathaway is used to dealing with it’s complicated romance plots – in her personal as well as her professional life.
When she first met her boyfriend, Adam Shulman, they didn’t get together for months because they both thought each other was dating someone when in fact they were actually single.
She has said of their two-year relationship: ‘‘ He thought I had a boyfriend and I thought he had a girlfriend, so I thought that I’d better keep my distance because I didn’t want to be that girl.’’
Hathaway says she isn’t afraid of a challenging romance.
‘‘ When they’re good, I think there’s nothing better. You know, I love to have my heart challenged and ripped out and woken up in unexpected ways.’’ Based on the novel by David Nicholls,
One Day follows Emma and her best friend Dexter Mayhew, played by Jim Sturgess, from the first moment they met after graduating from university in Edinburgh on 1988.
It revisits them on July 15, St Swithin’s Day, 20 years later and looks at how their lives have changed during that time.
Hathaway says she loved playing Emma because the character kept revealing something new to her.
‘‘ One of the things I was surprised by, and that I didn’t plan for, was that I realised Emma wasn’t someone who was really in touch with her anger,’’ she says.
‘‘ You know, she’s not someone who really speaks up for herself. ‘‘ At one turning point, she decides that she just isn’t going to let people push her around.’’
Hathaway says playing Emma was a lot of fun. ‘‘ She’s not the sort of person who is interested in changing herself,’’ she says.
‘‘ She’s not going to go out and try on a new identity. She’s trying to refine the one she has.
‘‘ So it was a lot of fun to figure out where she winds up. And then just unravel and work backwards from that.’’
Hathaway has good chemistry with Sturgess on screen, something they had to work on as he isn’t into romance movies and likes to joke around.
‘‘ There were some great moments with him in the movie,’’ Hathaway says.
‘‘ But then he was . . . back to being a jerk! But I never got bummed. I just looked at it as a challenge.’’
Professionally, Hathaway is not afraid of a role where love’s wires get crossed.
She has just finished a stint on stage playing Viola in Twelfth Night, at the New York Shakespeare Festival. The character falls in love with the Duke of Orsino while pretending to be his faithful boy servant.
The actor put so much pressure on herself to get the part right she made herself ill. ‘‘ I had stomach problems for weeks. And I worked my butt off to get inside that text,’’ Hathaway says.
It wasn’t until the last performance that she was actually happy with her work. ‘‘ I unravelled the last knot,’’ she says. ‘‘ That whole performance . . . I just felt like I was flying. That feeling of freedom became really addictive.
‘‘ And now I try to achieve that earlier in all my performances.’’
We will see her next in her role as Catwoman, Selina Kyle, in The Dark Knight
Rises. It’s a very different role to that of Emma, but Hathaway has been relishing the change in pace with a high-octane role.
‘‘ With action, you know, put your fist here, put your leg there, do this many sit-ups, and you’ll be able to get your leg higher,’’ she says.
Getting in shape has had one positive side effect – she is looking good in her catsuit.
‘‘ It’s not something where comfort is really a priority,’’ Hathaway says.
‘‘ It doesn’t matter. But things that are glamorous very rarely are.’’
She adds, ‘‘ It’s always good as an actor, to be in your body. And to be limber and be ready for anything.
‘‘ It’s not something that I imagined I would ever do. But I’m enjoying it.’’
any more annoying ( he can).
The film is based on a blousey, beach-read of a book by British author David Nicholls, which does have its many admirers. This is largely on the strength of Nicholls’ witty way with a phrase or two, and a perfectly apt pop-culture reference thrown in for good measure.
Weirdly, though, Nicholls was given the job of turning his book into a screenplay – and made sure to include all the best bits – that addictive, happy-go-heartbroken vibe that leapt from the printed page comes a cropper on the big screen.
The story visits the same date on the calendar year –July15–during a long, looooonnnnngggggg relationship that is perpetually blossoming, withering, sparking and fizzling.
Some years, it looks as if Hathaway’s Emma ( who starts out an aspiring writer and ends up, err, a real writer) and Sturgess’ Dexter ( a substance-abusing, self-loathing toff who never really beds down a single career) are finally going to drop the platonic act and get together.
Other years, they do so little to mark the occasion that you begin to wonder if they ever met at all.
I kid you not, one yearly section of this film is dedicated entirely to Emma taking a swim. Another features Dexter leaving a lot of anguished messages on an answering machine. Zzzzzzzzzzz.
However, the see-you-in-365-days thing is not a major problem compared with the wafer-thin rendering of the main characters by Hathaway and Sturgess.
The pair give off nothing that suggests they could ever be a romantic couple.
This shortcoming becomes all the more pronounced when One Day does a last-act, loop-de-loop and becomes the most desperate, cloying weepy seen in a long time.
STARRING ROLES: Anne Hathaway and Jim Sturgess in One Day ( opposite page); Hathaway ( above) and with Jake Gyllenhaal in Love and Other Drugs ( inset); with Debra Winger in Rachel Getting Married ( below) and as Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises ( inset).