Anne Hathaway Discussed The Hate Thrown At Her Online In The Mid-2010s And How She's Learned To Just Be Herself

    "My career did not lose momentum the way it could have if he hadn't backed me."

    As someone who quotes The Princess Diaries and The Princess Diaries 2 on a daily basis, I can safely say that Anne Hathaway has consistently been one of my favorite actors for the majority of my life.

    Anne Hathaway in leopard print dress and matching boots poses at Club Couture event

    From The Devil Wears Prada to Brokeback Mountain to The Dark Knight Rises, Anne's film credits include some of the biggest (and most beloved) movies. She's been working continually since landing her breakout role as Mia Thermopolis in 2001, and we've watched her give many great performances throughout her career.

    Anne Hathaway in a scene from The Princess Diaries

    And while Anne has been beloved by so many for years, there was a period in her career when Anne was the subject of toxicity online. A lot of it started when she hosted the Oscars in 2011 alongside James Franco. In the years after, the hosting gig was called "terrible," with Anne herself even talking about it in a 2019 interview.

    Anne Hathaway in a black tuxedo with bow tie and sparkling shoes sitting on stage while hosting the Oscars

    This all culminated during the 2013 awards season, which ended with her winning an Academy Award for Les Misérables. Many people online called out Anne for being "annoying," leading to countless op-eds between 2013 and 2015, as some wondered why people did not like Anne all of a sudden.

    Anne Hathaway in a sleek gown holding an Oscar trophy, smiling at the camera

    All of this was in addition to the fact that Anne said she'd been told since starting in Hollywood that she had "no sex appeal." As she noted in a new interview with Vanity Fair, "The male gaze was very dominant and very pervasive and very juvenile."

    Anne Hathaway in sparkling gold halter neck gown with gemstone necklace, posing against a backdrop

    And just to keep adding to everything, Anne was also told that her "career would nosedive when she hit 35," according to Vanity Fair — something she says she's never forgotten.

    Anne Hathaway and Nicholas Galitzine in The Idea of You

    Now, in her Vanity Fair cover story, she's opening up about this period in her life, even saying it was hard for her to book a job after her Oscar win in 2013 because the online discourse had become so toxic.

    Anne Hathaway in a navy coat, white top, flared jeans, and silver boots steps out of a car

    "A lot of people wouldn't give me roles because they were so concerned about how toxic my identity had become online," Anne recalled.

    Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, and Anne Hathaway onstage at the 2024 SAG Awards

    She said that director and writer Christopher Nolan was the person who ended up taking a chance on her, and it helped her so much.

    Christopher Nolan and Anne Hathaway together at an event and holding an award

    After she previously starred as Selina Kyle/Catwoman in Christopher's The Dark Knight Rises, he then cast her in Interstellar, which she says really helped her career at the time.

    Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises

    Anne began by saying, "I had an angel in Christopher Nolan, who did not care about [the online negativity] and gave me one of the most beautiful roles I've had in one of the best films that I've been a part of."

    Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey in Interstellar

    "I don't know if he knew that he was backing me at the time, but it had that effect. And my career did not lose momentum the way it could have if he hadn't backed me," she added.

    Anne Hathaway in Interstellar

    Now, Anne says, she's become more confident in herself and has taken that momentum given to her by Christopher to star in so many more incredible projects. Most recently, she received critical acclaim for her work in Eileen in 2023.

    Anne Hathaway in Eileen

    "Humiliation is such a rough thing to go through. The key is to not let it close you down. You have to stay bold, and it can be hard because you're like, 'If I stay safe, if I hug the middle, if I don't draw too much attention to myself, it won't hurt.' But if you want to do that, don't be an actor," Anne explained to Vanity Fair.

    Anne Hathaway in a white top with feather details and jeans holding a microphone onstage and smiling

    She continued, saying, "You're a tightrope walker. You're a daredevil. You're asking people to invest their time and their money and their attention and their care into you. So you have to give them something worth all of those things. And if it's not costing you anything, what are you really offering?"

    Anne Hathaway engaging with fans, signing autographs, wearing a sequined dress

    Now it seems that everyone is back to loving Anne Hathaway, with countless moments of Anne going viral on TikTok. Like her dancing, carefree, at Paris Fashion Week, or even speaking to fans on the street who want to get a photo with her.


    — 2000s (@PopCulture2000s) January 26, 2023
    As for the dancing at an afterparty at Paris Fashion Week, Anne said, "I'm in a nightclub and I’m dancing, and this is the world. Don't stop, don't perform. Stay where you are because you feel great. Despite nothing. Why wouldn't anybody wearing Valentino at a nightclub in Paris dancing feel great?"

    Anyway, I'm so glad we are in an Anne Hathaway renaissance, and I'm going to go rewatch The Princess Diaries for like the millionth time.

    You can read Anne's full cover story with Vanity Fair here.