Anne Hathaway just wants attention.
Scratch that. Hathaway’s character in the new dramedy “Rachel Getting Married” just wants attention, any way she can get it: drug use, impulsive sex, complete disregard for her family.
Hathaway delivers an emotional and captivating performance as the film’s central figure, Kym, creating a sarcastic, self-centered and utterly real person on screen. It’s also one more step in the actress’ concerted effort to break down the façade of the “good girl” persona established by her early work in Disney’s “The Princess Diaries” franchise.
Metromix caught up with the star of diverse hits including “The Devil Wears Prada” and “Brokeback Mountain” for a discussion about love, drugs and AC/DC.
Hi Anne. You’re looking very fashionable today.
I was in my Glamosaurus Rex outfit earlier, but now I’m a little bit more comfy. [She’s wearing a T-Shirt and jeans] Please don’t out me. Tell everyone I’m wearing Chanel or something.
Your character in “Rachel Getting Married” is highly dysfunctional and kind of a mess. Were you looking for a role that would create a different image for you?
No. When I took this role I thought, “oh what a great opportunity” just as an actress, not “what a great chance to shake up this perspective of me.” I don’t consider my whole body of work whenever I think about accepting a movie. And Meryl [Streep] said it best—as Meryl often does—you do the best work you can in the roles that are available to you.
What did you do to prepare for the role?
I went to a lot of AA meetings. In [a Venice film festival] interview, someone asked me in a very leading way if I knew anyone in recovery. So I asked [the journalists in the room] to look at each other and said, “If you are not in recovery or you aren’t related to someone in recovery raise your hand.” And no one raised a hand. Addiction is something that connects us all.
One of Rachel’s big moments comes when she toasts her sister. Are you a good toast giver at weddings?
I am a heartfelt toast-giver. It doesn’t always mean I’m clever, but it does mean that everything I say does come from the heart.
I think that love has a dark side, and I love that this movie explores it and doesn’t try to judge it or presuppose that love and darkness come in the exclusion of each other. Cause that’s life.
This film has several interracial couples including the newlyweds, Sidney (Tunde Adebimpe) and Rachel (Rosemarie DeWitt), but there is no special attention paid to their race. Do you think that America is “post-race”?
I am, and I think that my friends are. The family [in the movie] certainly is. If you look at the Democratic National Convention, that certainly was. The Republican Convention…not so much. I do think that we are much further along on that then we ever have been.
Adebimpe is better known as the lead singer of TV on the Radio. What’s it like working with musician actors?
I started listening to TV on the Radio when I learned that Tunde was going to be in the movie. They’re a great band. I don’t think that it affects working in the scene, but ultimately you can get some great adds to your iTunes. It was really cool for the scene where he sings a Neil Young song to Rachel. His pitch was perfect. The song was originally supposed to be “You Shook Me All Night Long,” by AC/DC but it was too expensive.
What do you think “Rachel Getting Married” says about love?
I think that love has a dark side, and I love that this movie explores it and doesn’t try to judge it or presuppose that love and darkness come in the exclusion of each other. Cause that’s life. And I am very open to that idea. Jenny [Lumet] wrote the script and she said that Kym is the loneliest character in the world. I played the character and it never occurred to me that that was who she was. I think that [Kym’s] relationship with Kieran [Mather Zickel, who plays a recovering addict] is as romantic as it is a godsend. He is someone who looks at her and actually sees her.
Should we feel sorry for Kym?
It doesn’t matter what I feel. One of my favorite things about Kym is that people perceive her one way, but she knows herself better than anyone else. She knows the dark, 3 AM version of her soul.
Special to Metromix
September 30, 2008