Anne Hathaway talks women directors, ‘The Hustle’ and her new star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame

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Anne Hathaway

In an intriguing interview with Variety’s Jenelle Riley, Anne Hathaway talks about seeking out women directors, getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and embracing the feminist aspects of her new comedy “The Hustle.”

The latter is a remake of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” in which Hathaway and Rebel Wilson play con artists, and the Oscar winner told Variety she was intrigued by the feminist aspects of the project from writer Jac Schaeffer (who also penned the screenplay for the eagerly awaited standalone “Black Widow” movie from Marvel Studios).

“So many of her cons were about basically rising to the level of femininity that stupid men expect,” Hathaway said. “It involved paying attention to the worst aspects of the male gaze then sending it up with hopefully hilarious results.”

She relished in playing a character who turned to cons because she was good at it.

“I talked to Jac and our director Chris Addison about the fact that she considers it to be a gender tax; anybody who plays the game the way the game is currently set up is getting ripped off; anywhere from if you’re a white woman, you’re making 70 cents for every dollar a man makes and if you’re a Latina, I think you’re making 56 cents for every dollar a man makes. It’s a rigged system, so you shouldn’t feel bad for rigging the system back.”

From early in her career, Hathaway has made an effort to seek out women directors and has worked with such filmmakers as Barbara Kopple, Nancy Meyers and Lone Scherfig.

“I used to get a list of directors and I’d say there’s no women and you’d hear, ‘Oh there just aren’t any that are right for this’ or ‘They don’t have the experience.’ You felt like you were screaming into the wind back then. There were so any harmful myths that were in place,” she said. “It’s been such a satisfying thing the last year and a half to watch people collectively put those myths to rest.

“You hear people really making an effort to make lists that are diverse. People are really walking the walk, at least the people I’m working with.”

Hathaway has been working steadily since breaking through as a teenager in 2001’s “The Princess Diaries,” and she was working with the likes of Meryl Streep and Ang Lee before the age of 25. She has taken roles both for the screen – where she’s arguably best known for “The Devil Wears Prada,” “Les Miserables,” “Brokeback Mountain” and “Ocean’s Eight – and for the stage, including the one-woman show “Grounded,” where she played a fighter pilot turned drone pilot.

That long list of credits undoubtedly helped secure her star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which was unveiled Thursday.

“Mainly, I’m just always confused about all this,” she said, laughing. “That’s kind of my go-to emotion for things like this.”

Her upcoming films include starring as a reporter caring for her sick father in Dee Rees’ “Mudbound” follow-up, “The Last Thing He Wanted,” adapted from the Joan Didion novel.

“Dee is so insanely good, she’s the real deal,” Hathaway said, while adding the character was like nothing she’s played before. “She’s so enraged and she wants to live as much as she wants to die. She’s a fighter with a death wish.”

She said she signed on to “Dry Run” to work with director Todd Haynes (“Carol”) and Mark Ruffalo. The film is based on a New York Times Magazine article about the attorney who challenged chemical company DuPont.

“I just showed up to work with Todd and Mark and something took over,” she said. “In these times it’s probably a mistake to sound too sincere about anything but it truly was one of the deeper soul experiences I’ve had on a set.”

There’s apparently a simple reason why she takes on such a variety of projects: “I just like employment, man,” Hathaway said with a laugh. “I love working.”

There’s a lot more of interest in Riley’s interview with Anne Hathaway. To read it, click here.

-BAM

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