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Anne Hathaway
Love & Other Drugs
Press Roundtables
Waldorf Astoria
November 6, 2010

Written by H B Forman

Love & Other Drugs
Opens November 24, 2010


 

“Anne Hathaway is taking chances”

Anne Hathaway is becoming bolder when it comes to her choices – on and off-screen. This is the case with her movie roles, co-stars, nude scenes and more.

Regardless of how far it stretches her, Anne Hathaway plunges in headfirst. So it is not surprising that this 28-year-old beauty headed to support groups for her recent role as a seriously ill young woman who has built a wall around her heart.

While she is the first to admit that talking to a group of strangers about their Parkinson’s Disease to better understand her character in the movie Love & Other Drugs was certainly a daunting task, she said she was fortunately welcomed with opened arms.

Whether she is portraying a teen princess, a fashionista, a recovering addict or, most recently, a woman falling in love in spite of her debilitating medical condition, Anne Hathaway obviously puts her heart and soul into every film role.


Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway in Love & Other Drugs

We have fallen in love with Anne numerous times, but the former Ella Enchanted and Princess Mia, is all grown up and ready for a more mature kind of love in her latest endeavor Love & Other Drugs, a holiday treat from Twentieth Century Fox, and opens in the US on November 24.

The movie is charming, thought-provoking and one that will start discussions about what it can teach us, namely – the stakes in love are always extremely high and always worth the gamble.

It was crystal clear during recent chat, on a chilly day in early winter at the posh Waldorf Astoria hotel in Manhattan, that Anne is a quiet powerhouse, who can woo us in her most recent role as Maggie, an alluring free spirit, who won’t let anything – even her early stage Parkinson’s disease – tie her down.

But early in the film she meets her match in Jamie Randall (Jake Gyllenhaal), and the two plunge head first into an unconventional, but lovely, love story. It is about two people who are desperate not to go to a deeper, more profound place in their connection to one another, but their appeal to one another and the nature of love are too powerful for them.

During a recent bitter cold day in early winter at a posh Manhattan hotel, a well-spoken and intelligent Anne was laughing, talking to her director and co-star and ready to help improve the world. It is also clear that multi-tasking in not a problem for her.


Jake Gyllenhaal and Anne Hathaway in Love & Other Drugs

Question: You and Jake are naked on the poster and naked in the movie, did you see nudity as a selling point for this movie and how was it for you to actual do these steamy scenes?

Anne Hathaway: I’ve had a chip on my shoulder since the Princess Diaries when my nude scene was cut. [laughed]. So I’ve been trying to make up for lost time ever since then.

Question: I really loved your chemistry with Jake – it was really believable and I think that’s hard in romantic films that believability. Your vulnerability on screen was amazing – can you talk about working together and did that chemistry start in the movie Brokeback Mountain?

Anne Hathaway: I have yet to become vulnerable. [she joked].

Question: No, seriously.

Anne Hathaway: I never felt vulnerable with Jake. I understood that our characters went to vulnerable places. We all really supported each other and I felt really supported by these two men [Jake and co-writer/director Ed Zwick], so if there was vulnerability it was tempered by love and support.

Question: As an actress do you ever feel vulnerable?

Anne Hathaway: Sure. Every time you act it’s vulnerable – if you are telling a love story, if you are taking your clothes off, if your making a comedy – it’s all kind of putting yourself out there for people hopefully to enjoy. With Brokeback Mountain we had chemistry and Jake was someone I really enjoyed spending time with and we’re very bonded over that experience.

Question: Talk about working with Jake again on this film?

Anne Hathaway: We learned on Brokeback Mountain that we were really good scene partners, and good at listening to one another. We go much deeper with that in this movie. And it was a truly great experience.

Question: This is such an interesting take on modern love. What is your take on modern love and finding your true love? And what is going on with Jake and country singer Taylor Swift?

Anne Hathaway: Hey, I have been Jake’s on-screen love interest for years, all right. So you keep the conversation to me and only me. [laughed.].
Otherwise I am going to get nasty. Don’t get Ella Enchanted pissed off; I’m not that obedient. [laughed].

Question: So talk about your take on love for me please.

Anne Hathaway: I think love is everything. Most people want love. The journey is sometimes really rocky to find it, and it’s an exploration and an adventure always. And that’s one of the most wonderful parts of being alive and one of the worst parts of being alive when it doesn’t go well.

You mentioned modern love, and I know it sounds kind of cheesy, but I love it when I movie reminds you of your favorite love songs. And this movie does that for me. And it’s great when your life reminds you of love songs. It’s an incredibly intoxicating feeling that initial rush and then as spend more time and it deepens, it becomes something else entirely – it becomes all the epic things that the world is made up of.

At least that’s what my experience has been.

Question: Tell me more about what drew you to the movie Love & Other Drugs?

Anne Hathaway: The movie is about what it takes to let love in. Love is hard work and it’s scary, and it’s all totally worth it.

Question: Are there any life lessons in general you can share?

Anne Hathaway: Figure out what is important to you and when you find it, go for it and then you won’t have regrets. That has worked for me.

Question: This movie touches a lot on the subject of unconditional love, so how true to life in today’s world do you think it is?

Anne Hathaway: Is this an accurate portrayal of love? I saw the final cut of the film with an audience two nights ago. And I am so proud of the fact that I believe in their love story. Whether or not it’s the definitive exploration of unconditional love I don’t know. I don’t know enough about the world and I don’t know enough about film to say that. However, I do know that it is very hard to believe in on-screen love and I am pumped that I could believe in ours.

Question: Because of the fact that you spend so much time in this movie naked does it become like another wardrobe and is it an additional challenge because of the humor. Usually, when you are naked on camera these scenes are very serious, so the fact that you get to have fun with the experience.

Anne Hathaway: One of the things we talked about early on is that when you are in the early throes of passion and lust and love you spend a lot of time unclothed and the beginning of our characters relationship is in that moment. And then obviously we go into a deeper place of love and companionship and intimacy. It’s so funny that you said that the intimate scenes usually go quick because I think there are many definitions of intimacy. I would say that the sex scenes go rather quick but the things that make our scenes so intimate is that we stay in them so long. I haven’t gotten a complaint so far. By the time we got to those scenes we really worked everything through there was little to deal with beyond the normal.

Question: What attracted you to the role of Maggie?

Anne Hathaway: I was so drawn to Maggie. I was so drawn to her rhythm, and I was so in awe of what she was going through and the way she was handling it, the way she handling her diagnosis was completely understandable – with anger, with denial, with frustration, with vulnerability, self medication, and she’s an intelligent girl, it made sense to me that she would be getting it right at times and sometimes it would be a real struggle for her. I thought there was so much potential in the story.

But for me it was Maggie. And then, of course, when I started imagining her with Jake, it became intoxicating.

Question: Anything else about Maggie that you can talk about?

Anne Hathaway: I was moved by the challenges she faces, and by the façade she presents to the world, as an idealized sex goddess who is fine with everything and anything. I loved how fearless she is. But there’s an aching and a yearning there; she’s scared and vulnerable, and a wonderful person under all of that. As an actress, you dream of opportunities to explore those things.

Question: What research did you do for the illness in the film, stage one [Parkinson’s] disease?

Anne Hathaway: I got a lot of help from Ed getting started with my research on early onset Parkinson’s disease. Ed turned me on to the American Parkinson’s Disease Association and they were instrumental in putting me in touch with a few people who had been diagnosed around the age that my character had been diagnosed. One of those women is actually in the film. Lucy (Roucis), the woman at the Parkinson’s convention, with the dark hair, who is incredible funny, is one of the key people who I talked to, she actually had a big influence on the film. Another woman from the support group, Maureen, had a big impact.

Question: What else happened with the research?

Anne Hathaway: Maureen was very generous and took me to a few support groups. I was a little nervous. I had gone to support groups for the movie Rachel Getting Married. But this one felt a big different. I talked openly about the fact that like many people I had experiences with addiction in my life and I’ve never known anyone who had Parkinson’s Disease and I have never had it myself, so I was really coming at it from total ignorance. And I was anticipating a bit of resistance from the people in the support groups and I was met with absolute openness and warmth.

People wanted to share their stories. People were excited because Parkinson’s is a very, very insidious disease, but it doesn’t get a lot of attention. Everyone sat there and said, ‘thank God for Michael J. Fox, because I don’t think anyone would know anything without his advocacy.’

Question: It sounds like you really immersed yourself in their world.

Anne Hathaway: Yes, I did. And they shared their stories with me, and they shared their fears, they shared their anxieties and they shared their triumphs.
And I also spoke with neurologists. And what became clear to me is that Stage One early onset Parkinson’s Disease is about good days and bad days, and they talked about that a lot, and we wanted to make sure that we showed the bad days honestly on screen, but what so much of is about anxiety – anxiety about the future, learning to understand what it is that’s happening to your body and through my research realized it was so important to immerse Maggie in the psychological trauma of her diagnosis, and she is caught up in a world where all she can she is her own disease and throughout the course of the film she learns to accept it. And she even has that wonderful line in the film – Parkinson’s isn’t my life, I have Parkinson’s, why does it have to be my life. It was an amazing world that was opened up to me. I also read everything Michael J. Fox has written or said.

Question: Are you going to continue your support of Parkinson’s disease in some way?

Anne Hathaway: Oh, yes. I’m actually hosting a screening soon to benefit the American Parkinson’s Association.


 

 

 


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