As we point our designer shoes toward Oscar season, it’s helpful to check in with past winners. What did winning a best supporting actress mean to Anne Hathaway, who carried home the gold statue in 2013 for “Les Miserables”? “It meant that I had a dream as a kid and it came true,” says the 36-year-old A-lister. “I hope that it shows other girls and young women who dream big that their dreams can really happen.”
That doesn’t mean that the win removes all self-doubt.
For instance, if she hears her song on the “Les Miz” soundtrack, she’s her own worst critic.
“I always hear the notes I didn’t hit, but someday I’ll get over it,” she says with a laugh.
The actress, mom to 2-year-old Jonathan Rosebanks Shulman (with husband Adam Shulman), steps into thriller territory in this month’s “Serenity,” which reunites Hathaway with her “Interstellar” co-star Matthew McConaughey.
He’s a fishing boat captain named Baker Dill, a man living a quiet life. Enter his ex-wife, Karen (Hathaway), who shows up with serious issues including a violent and extremely rich current husband (Jason Clarke), a man she believes is destined to swim with the sharks. “Here I was being sent this character who is the object of male desire. Those are not the parts I usually get,” Hathaway says.
Review-Journal: What is your idea of a great Sunday?
Anne Hathaway: Family, family, family. I’m happy when things are simple. We go to the park, sing, play and have fun. If possible, the best thing for me is to be with my family near the ocean.
How has motherhood changed you?
I feel such a deep physical connection with my son. When he’s sick, I wake up in the middle of the night asking, “Why does my throat hurt?” If I have a headache, he will rub his little head. We are connected in ways that no one could ever explore in a lab. It’s just part of the magic of life.
“Serenity” is kind of like film noir.
In the past, noir was such a misogynist genre. In an old noir film, Karen would have been described as “no good.” With all of the waves of feminism today, she can be in a noir as a woman in a horribly abusive relationship with very few options, which is actually the situation of most women in noir films. What I loved is that Karen is not helpless in her helplessness.
You look great as a blonde in the movie.
The blonde hair was my idea. At first, a producer didn’t want it. But I said, “I’m doing it.” Meanwhile, everyone tried to talk me out of it, except for (director) Steven Knight, who said, “If you want to go blonde, then I’m with you. If you think it’s important to the character, then it is important.”
What was it like to reunite with Matthew McConaughey?
Matthew for me is the gold standard. He goes straight to the heart of every moment. It was also funny. On “Interstellar,” Matthew was a flirty pilot who loved to spin a good yarn. With “Serenity,” he’s an island unto himself. So, I show up to the set the first day and say, “How’s it going, Matty?” He’s like, “Hello,” in a cool voice.
Did the two of you hang out?
All of our kids were around this set. On Sundays, it was a big barbecue at Matthew’s house. It was so cute how his children played with my son. He loved it. I admire the way Matthew can balance his career and his private life.
How do you describe fame?
Even at the beginning of my career, I didn’t think fame was something real. It felt very illusionary.
What did winning the Oscar mean to you?
You feel the respect of your peers. The key is not to get stuck in this idea that the award means something about you. It just means you achieved something in a performance that other people recognized had merit.
What are your career goals these days?
I want to subvert audience expectations. I’m the sort of actor who’s always asking: How can I raise the stakes? How can I transform myself?
You’ve said that you’ve really felt the #timesup movement.
It says to girls and women, “Go do what you want to do because there is space for you. Bring your friends. There is room for all of you.” It’s an “everybody in” mentality for people who have been excluded.
How was it working with so many great women in “Ocean’s Eight”?
I had never really been given an opportunity to work with so many amazing women. I’m really looking forward to a time when something like a mostly female cast doesn’t feel special anymore, although it will always be special to be in that kind of company.
You always look on the bright side.
You have to remember that in life there is a positive to every negative and a negative to every positive. I believe things tip to the positive. It all comes home, which is why I live my life with love.