The first sign that Anne Hathaway had come to steal the show at this year’s Cannes Film Festival was when she stepped out for her first official appearance in a stunning Schiaparelli two-piece metallic floral number, skin glowing, her glossy mane perfectly blown out. Next came a Gucci mod minidress, paired with cat-eye sunglᴀsses. By the time she appeared at the premiere for the film she was there to promote, Armageddon Time, looking like an actual angel in a glittering white Armani Privé gown with a satin wrap and cascading train, topped off by a 107.15-carat sapphire necklace from Bulgari, the internet was buzzing: We were in the midst of an Anne Hathaway renaissance.
“You plant seeds in your life and then there come these moments where you harvest them—Cannes felt like a little bit of a harvest,” she tells me over breakfast on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. “In the beginning of my career, I was so worried about messing up that I missed a lot of great moments because I was so stressed out. I’m at a point in my life now where I know having a first time at something remarkable like that—it’s the only time it ever happens. And being in a place where I could enjoy it felt like a really positive development.” She doesn’t talk directly about all she went through a decade ago, referring to it in conversation as “when what happened, happened,” and she is clearly in a very different and happy place now. “I have worked too hard on seeing myself with kinder eyes to give away my peace to those who haven’t found it for themselves yet,” Hathaway explains. “So I do my best to not be afraid of what others might say and just focus on enjoying my life.”
“I did a film that never got released with a wonderful actor, Andre Braugher, and we were doing a scene together and I felt I was really doing poorly. The truth is that when I was starting out, I thought I would do better work if I was hard on myself. Andre saw that, and he was so gracious. He said, ‘You don’t need to do that. There’ll be plenty of people in the world who’ll do that to you. Don’t be one of them.’”
“My first day of shooting was the day after the 2016 election. We all got our hair and makeup done in the morning and then watched Hillary’s concession speech—and then cried, and then redid our hair and makeup, and then worked a 20-hour day. Because women are really tough. I remember looking around going, Wait, why have I never been here before? Like, why has it taken this long into my career to have this many women on set? And then I remember having a distinct feeling: Oh, this is what it’s like to be a man in Hollywood. Wherever they go, they’re in a pack; there’s so much ease in this. And I just wanted more of it. I thought, I have to make this an intention in my career. To work with other women and to create opportunities for as many women to work together.”
“We’ve seen the beginning of the industry becoming safer. It requires constant vigilance, particularly because we are still at the beginning and because we have such a long way to go, but the removal of the worst actors was a really significant step.”
“I had to have eye surgery, and when I came out of it, one of the nurses was like, ‘Oh, look who’s right next to you.’ And it was Jane Lynch. I was hopped up on the drugs, and I was like, ‘Well hello, Jane Lynch!’ And she was so warm, and I think we were both high. It was just one of those moments—only in Hollywood do you come out of surgery and see one of the funniest women in the world next to you. It was instant love. I wanted to ask her so many questions, but I couldn’t manage any words other than hello.”