Follow Anne Hathaway’s Remarkable Career in Four Films
From rodeo queen to caring mother, the actress has portrayed a full range of human experiences.
Anne Hathaway has evolved from teenage actress to one of the most impressive film artists of our time.
So we’re celebrating her career by showcasing four films that capture her artistic journey.
Hathaway demonstrated her move from teen idol to adult artist, quite literally, when she auditioned for Ang Lee for Brokeback Mountain. “Anne came in, wearing heavy makeup and dressed as a princess, because she was shooting a parade scene for The Princess Diaries 2,” Lee told Variety. In the film, she plays Lureen Newsome, a rodeo queen who gives up her career to marry Jack Twist (Jake Gyllenhaal), a man whose heart still belongs to Ennis Del Mar (Heath Ledger). As the years pass by, Lureen struggles with the bitter truth about her marriage. “It's a brilliant and insightful performance, a time-lapse photography demonstration of what happens to someone who expected to be loved, but wasn't,” wrote The San Francisco Chronicle.
Six years later, Hathway took on another iconic love story in Lone Scherfig’s adaptation of David Nicholls’ international bestseller One Day. Hathaway plays Emma Morley, whose friendship and romance with Dexter Mayhew (Jim Sturgess) is revisited on the same day, July 15, for over 20 years. As the heroine of a beloved book whose life is spread out over 20 years, the character of Emma proved a formidable challenge. “Some days, I was Emma Morley during four separate years of her life,” Hathaway told Interview Magazine. The Hollywood Reporter wrote, “She does catch the young woman’s coltish behavior and sly wit very well.” Her theatrical agility and sensitivity constantly amazed Scherfig, who told Digital Spy, “She is just really talented and a very creative mind."
In recent films, Hathaway has shown a new depth in capturing multifaceted characters caught in complex moral and emotional struggles. In Todd Haynes’ real-life thriller Dark Waters, which came out four years ago, Hathaway plays the wife of attorney Robert Bilott (Mark Ruffalo). As Bilott grows entrenched in a long fight to reveal a corporate coverup of dangerous chemicals, his wife, Sarah, witnesses the emotional toll his fight for the truth levies on their marriage and family. Haynes told USA Today, “Anne has this incredible vitality and intelligence and compassion, and you see that in her work." Indeed, Variety called her performance “a piercing dance of agony and loyalty.”
In James Gray’s Armageddon Time, Hathaway plays Esther Graff, a mother in 1980s Queens, New York, who must guide her son, Paul (Banks Repeta), through a tumultuous period witnessing the realities of race and privilege. Hathaway, who described the character in the production notes as “a woman of tremendous passion, focus, determination, vulnerability, sadness, and love,” was excited to be part of the production. Collider writes of her complex role, “Hathaway shows all the layers of what she’s hiding underneath her smile in every scene,” and The New Yorker describes her performance as “very touching...continually skirting despair.”