Think what you may of Anne Hathaway, she’s somewhat of a naif.
It’s been 18 years since I first interviewed her. And that was for The Princess Diaries. She was then smart, bubbly and endearing. Over the years she has experienced more angst than anyone of her generation deserves.
First there was her fallout with the Catholic Church over her brother’s sexuality. Then there was her well-publicised romance with Raffaello Follieri, an Italian real estate developer who was charged for fraud in 2008. Only after he was indicted did she end that relationship.
But there is also the flipside. She won an Academy Award for Les Miserables. She met and married the love of her life, actor and businessman Adam Shulman in 2012. They now have a two-year-old son.
Hathaway, 36, has three movies coming out this year – thriller Serenity, comedy The Hustle and political thriller The Last Thing He Wanted. At her press conference for Serenity, in which she plays a blonde femme fatale, she is once again a brunette and as strikingly beautiful as ever.
Did you have more fun as a blonde?
I promise you one day I am going to make a comedy where I am blonde, and I am going to play that game with you, and it’s going to be so much fun. But given the nature of this film, I cannot play that game at this time.
Your new film is called Serenity. What would you say is your place of serenity?
Whenever I am with my husband and my son, wherever we are, I am so happy. But if I had to give you a specific place, just being in the kitchen cooking for everybody, that would be it.
What do you usually cook?
Well I have different things that I get obsessed with, and then I like to make them again and again until I feel really confident. Right now I am making a carrot souffle that I really like.
Did you describe a perfect day with your husband and son?
Well, we like to take walks. And one of the things we like to do is let our son lead.
So if he wants to go down a subway, we go to the subway. If he wants to get off the car, he gets off, and we get on the bus when he wants to. We stay and look at horses go by. You never run out of things to do in New York.
Video games play an important part in the plot of your new movie. Are you concerned about your child’s access to social media?
When my son started to walk, I learned that I couldn’t leave a knife at the edge of the counter. I had to put it out of his reach, until he was old enough to respect that there was a dangerous aspect to it.
I feel very much that way about social media and all of those things. But I don’t think there’s anything inherently wrong with it.
I am going to paraphrase a Desmond Tutu quote; he said religion is like a knife, it’s very good when you use it to cut a slice of bread for someone who is hungry, it’s very bad when you use it to kill someone.
I feel like social media is the same thing, it’s what we make of it. And ultimately and inevitably, I will have very little control over the way my child engages with it; all I can do is make sure he knows how to engage with the natural world, make sure that he knows how to have a sense of calm.
Were you upset when your gown was rated one of the worst at the recent Golden Globes?
Personally I liked it. I have never had a full length leopard print ball gown crossed my path before. That seemed interesting, and I thought it would be a fun reference for drag queens.
The last time I was at Golden Globes was for Les Miserables and there was so much pressure on for being a nominee and maybe if I won, I needed a dress that I was going to look good 60 years from now and still be proud of it.
This time I was just a presenter and the Golden Globes is a place to have fun, the place to take a risk. So I just didn’t want to choose anything that was too serious.
Who is your favourite designer, and is there one you’d like to work with?
There are so many amazing designers. I am not going to choose anyone right now because I’m way too political for that. But I think it would have been amazing to have collaborated with Hubert de Givenchy during the time when he was dressing Audrey Hepburn.
I think it would have been fun to spend a weekend with Yves Saint Laurent in Morocco in the ‘70s.
But I’m very lucky because I have a great relationship with Valentino, and I’ve gotten to wear some of his creations; so my No. 1 is always Valentino.
Were you fashion conscious as a teenager?
I really didn’t care about clothes growing up. I never judged anyone because of what they were wearing, and I wasn’t judged either. I have a lot of respect for women on limited income who are able to find an amazing pair of US$5 heels and wear them like they’re Chanel. I’ve got to say they are my favourite kind of women.
How many shoes do you own?
I have a good 40 pairs. I have them for years. The most important thing for me is having five inch heels that I can walk around all day and not get blisters.
Was there ever a period in your life when you had to deal with loneliness?
Being a teenager can be an unbelievably lonely experience. Suddenly everyone’s on their computers, shut in their worlds.
I was dealing with a lot of emotional fall out. I was very unhappy. I felt there was not a soul in the world I could talk to. It wasn’t because they had done anything wrong, it was because I didn’t understand it. And when you hit that kind of loneliness where you can’t even speak to yourself, that’s really hard.
When you look at herself in the mirror, do you see any flaws?
I don’t know if it helps to talk about our flaws. I don’t think it’s good for celebrities to talk about what they don’t like about their bodies. I think it’s more important to talk about the books they like, the films they like, what makes them a better person, (if they can be) a role model for young people.
Do you have a role model?
My mum, for reasons that have nothing to do with acting. She’s an incredibly strong person who’s been through a lot in her life, and who at the core is the most loving and caring person I know.
And your dad?
Both my parents are my two best friends. We have a unique relationship, which a lot of my friends don’t have, because it’s based on love and trust.
Do you listen to advice?
I’m probably a little overly confident about my own intuition. I listen to advice, but I don’t always take it. In fact I never take it. I’m very headstrong.