Dazed and con­fused

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Movies - LEIGH PAATSCH one­daythe­movie. com. au Now show­ing Vil­lage and State cin­e­mas

‘‘ 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).

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