Anne Hathaway: I wasn't happy when I won my Oscar for Les Miserables

Actress suggests her attempts to mask her unhappiness led to the 'Hathahaters' phenomenon

Olivia Blair
Sunday 12 November 2017 12:54 GMT
Anne Hathaway was in fact miserable when she won Oscar for Les Miserables

In 2013, Anne Hathaway was awarded best supporting actress for her critically acclaimed role in Les Miserables. While winning an Oscar can help to establish you as a firm favourite in the public eye (for example, Jennifer Lawrence) Hathaway's win sparked a backlash resulting in her becoming an international hate symbol.

At odds to her fellow Oscar winner Lawrence’s down-to-earth, super relatable, instantly-your-best-friend persona – this was the year she infamously tripped on her Dior dress while making her way up to the stage – Hathaway’s award season was often characterised with perceived gloating, being over the top or a characterisation as your typical run-of-the-mill drama schooled, All-American girl. A punch line from Amy Schumer’s 2015 hit film Trainwreck summarised it best when the comedian’s character teases her boyfriend (played by Bill Hader) when he wins a charity award by telling him he looks like Anne Hathaway at an Oscars party. Hathaway gracefully laughed off the joke while Schumer laid the blame for it firmly at director Judd Apatow’s door.

The Intern star has now reflected on her Oscar nod, explaining she was unhappy and uncomfortable during the ceremony and it was this fake happiness which led her to being ridiculed.

Victor Hugo: Five things you didn’t know about the French author of Les Miserables

“I felt very uncomfortable,” she told The Guardian. “I kind of lost my mind doing that movie and it hadn’t come back yet. Then I had to stand up in front of people and feel something I don’t feel which is uncomplicated happiness. It’s an obvious thing, you win an Oscar and you’re supposed to be happy. I didn’t feel that way. I felt wrong that I was standing there in a gown that cost more than some people are going to see in their lifetime and winning an award for portraying pain that still felt very much a part of our collective experience as human beings.”

To play the role of Fantine – a woman forced into prostitution to pay for the upkeep of her daughter and later dies from illness – Hathaway famously took method acting to the next level by cutting off all her hair and embarking on a gruelling diet. At the time she called the diet “starvation” and refused to reveal the methods which led to her losing a rumoured 25lbs for fear of glamourising it, reaffirming she was portraying a dying woman.

“I tried to pretend that I was happy and I got called out on it, big time,” she continued. “That’s the truth and that’s what happened. It sucks. But what you learn from it is that you only feel like you can die from embarrassment, you don’t actually die.”

Take the following articles from 2013: “Why is Anne Hathaway so unlikable?” from the New York Post, “Why do women hate Anne Hathaway (But love Jennifer Lawrence)? from New York magazine, “Anne Hathaway Can’t Win” by Buzzfeed and another charming Buzzfeed community post entitled: “12 reasons why everybody hates Anne Hathaway”.

The general, rounded-up anti-Hathaway sentiment even led to the term the “Hathahaters”, and led the 33-year-old to take time away from the spotlight. She told the Huffington Post at the time she got the impression “people needed a break from me”.

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