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Anne Hathaway reveals why she was ‘chronically stressed’ as a young woman

‘There was a lot of somatic stress there,’ Hathaway recalls about the early days of her career

Amber Raiken
New York
Sunday 28 April 2024 16:08 BST
Related: Anne Hathaway hails Donatella Versace as an ‘iconic’ personality

Anne Hathaway has spoken out about the immense stress she felt during her rise to fame.

The 41-year-old actor reflected on the early days of her career during an appearance on The New York Times podcast, The Interview, released on 27 April. She acknowledged how she could relate to some of the characters she’s played since they were often “a really stressed out young woman,” just like she was in her own life.

As she recalled the stress she used to feel, she confessed that the feeling affected how much she appreciated the opportunities she had.

“And as a formerly chronically stressed young woman, which leads to all manner of things, I just remember thinking one day, ‘You are taking this for granted, you are taking your life for granted. You have no idea. Something could fall through the sky, and that would be lights out,’” Hathaway explained.

The Princess Diaries star also shared how she’s gotten herself out of that anxiety, adding: “So when I find the old instincts rising, I just tell myself, You are not going to die stressed.”

When asked what she was “so stressed about,” she specified that the answer was a bit complex. However, she still expressed it was mainly different responsibilities in her life that contributed to the stress.

“I didn’t know how to breathe yet. That was really complicated,” she said. “It’s actually too big an answer and the simple answer is literally everything. I was very in my head about a lot of things.”

She then identified her stress as “somatic”, before briefly pointing out how distant she felt from herself at the time. “It feels a little too exposed to discuss the alienation I felt from my body, but there was a lot of somatic stress there,” she said.

When asked if drinking was a way to deal with her stress, Hathaway – who is now five years sober – candidly said: “Probably.”

During an interview with Vanity Fair last month, The Devil Wears Prada star opened up about why she quit drinking, explaining that indulging in alcohol never sat right with her.

“I knew deep down it wasn’t for me,” she confessed. “And it just felt so extreme to have to say, ‘But none?’ But none. If you’re allergic to something or have an anaphylactic reaction to something, you don’t argue with it. So I stopped arguing with it.”

She further specified that for her personally, “everything is better” when she’s not drinking. With that in mind, she detailed how she still allows herself to have fun with her peers when they are having alcohol.

“For me, it was wallowing fuel. And I don’t like to wallow,” Hathaway said about drinking. “The thing that I have faith in is that everybody else is going to have one or two drinks, and by the time everybody gets to two drinks, you’ll feel like you’ve had two drinks – but without the hangover.”

During that interview, she once again reflected on some of the stress she felt during the early days of her career, including her struggles with anxiety.

“I had a horrible anxiety attack and I was by myself and didn’t know what was happening. I certainly couldn’t tell anybody, and it was compounded by thinking I was keeping set waiting,” she said.

However, Hathaway acknowledged that she’s now at a point where she can verbally address her anxiety with her peers, and they can be there for her through it.

“I feel much safer going to someone in charge, pulling them to the side, and explaining, ‘I’m going through this right now.’ Most people will sit there with you for the 10 minutes it takes for you to come back down,” The Idea of You star added.

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