9 Milestones in the Evolution of Anne Hathaway
In Lone Scherfig's adaptation of the best-selling novel One Day, Anne Hathaway stars as a British waitress/writer whose romantic and professional pursuits -- as well as her complicated relationship with Jim Sturgess's wealthy womanizer -- are chronicled across two decades. So, how did Hathaway transform herself from a Disney princess to a sardonic working class girl from New England?
You can always trace a direct line through a few important roles to illustrate what led to an actor's current success. So let's look at nine pivotal performances that track the evolution of the Oscar nominated Anne Hathaway.
Get Real (1999)
Like any successful New York theater kid, Hathaway spent her childhood and teens starring in school plays, performing in the All-Eastern U.S. High School Honors Chorus and landing at least one seriously dramatic commercial before winning her first serious role in the short-lived Fox series Get Real at the age of 17. In spite of the show's nascent star power -- Hathaway played the beautiful, smart onscreen sister of future Oscar-nominee Jesse Eisenberg -- Get Real was pulled off the air prematurely during its first season.
The Princess Diaries (2001)
Shortly after being cast in another Disney movie, The Other Side of Heaven, Hathaway beat out 500 actresses to play the lead character in Garry Marshall's comedy The Princess Diaries. (As legend goes, the director cast the Brooklyn-born actress as his clumsy royal after she fell off her chair during the first audition.) For her role as Mia Thermopolis, an unknowing heir to a fictional Disney throne, Anne Hathway held her own against Julie Andrews, earned critical praise and helped Diaries became a commercial hit that grossed over $160 million worldwide.
Having earned a reputation as a squeaky clean actress for her work in the family-friendly Princess Diaries franchise and the mediocre film fairytale Ella Enchanted, Hathaway redirected her career at the age of 23 with the gritty straight-to-DVD drama Havoc. Playing a spoiled Los Angeles teen who adopts a faux gangster lifestyle with her friends, Hathaway's character managed to appear nude, have sex in the back seat of a car, witness a gang rape, smoke crack cocaine and perform oral sex on Joseph Gordon-Levitt's character. Hathaway denied that her decision to take on Havoc had anything to do with wanting audiences to consider her a mature actress, but again, the actress went from taking elocution lessons from Mary Poppins to smoking crack cocaine on a bed with Bijou Phillips. You do the math.
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
After appearing topless and having more car sex in Ang Lee's Brokeback Mountain, Hathaway buttoned her shirt back up to star in David Frankel's adaptation of Lauren Weisberger's novel. Returning to her foolproof Princess Diaries character formula, Hathaway played an awkward, unpolished young woman who finds herself groomed for an elite type of society. She didn't earn an Oscar nomination like her esteemed co-star Meryl Streep but she did help make this chick flick her highest grossing box office title (until Rio) with $327 million worldwide.
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