Love & Other Drugs
November 6, 2010
Written by H B Forman
Love & Other Drugs
Opens November 24, 2010
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
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
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
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?
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.
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?
I have yet to become vulnerable. [she joked].
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.
As an actress do you ever feel vulnerable?
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.
Talk about working with Jake again on this
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.
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?
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.
So talk about your take on love for me please.
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.
Tell me more about what drew you to the movie
Love & Other Drugs?
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.
Are there any life lessons in general you
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
What attracted you to the role of Maggie?
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.
Anything else about Maggie that you can
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.
What research did you do for the illness
in the film, stage one [Parkinson’s] disease?
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
What else happened with the research?
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.’
It sounds like you really immersed yourself
in their world.
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.
Are you going to continue your support of
Parkinson’s disease in some way?
Oh, yes. I’m actually hosting a screening
soon to benefit the American Parkinson’s Association.