Anne Hathaway does not want things to be easy.
“People ask me all the time if I was afraid of this new part. Why would I be? I’m an actress. That’s what I signed on for,” says the star of Jonathan Demme’s new film “Rachel Getting Married.”
In what could easily be called a dysfunctional family, Hathaway, a pain-in-the-ass rehab patient, returns home for her sister’s wedding.This prodigal daughter’s arrival sparks the usual problems: Fights with her sister (Rosemarie DeWitt), her knit-picky dad (Bill Irwin) and her bombastic mother (Debra Winger).
“How’s Rachel holding up?” her character Kym asks about bride-to-be Rachel.
“Are all of her latent food issues coming up? Is she still hoarding Snickers and Cool Whip under the bed?”
“Kym is the kind of woman I run like hell from,” Demme told reporters at the Toronto International Film Festival.
“She’s just awful. Yet I love all the things she is as well as what she’s not.”
“This is definitely a girl with issues,” says Hathaway, who puts on a fierce and dramatic performance in the role.
“I’m Shiva the destroyer, and I am your harbinger of doom for the evening,” Kym showboats, during one wincing rehearsal dinner, locked and loaded with self-loathing, stinging digs and squirm-in-your-seat silence.
Yet for all her foibles, Kym bares all her bruises bravely. That’s what turns her into something more than just a head case on a tear says Hathaway.
“She earns your sympathy and she also makes you feel like at the end of the day, things are going to be okay for her. At least that’s how I played it.”
The best and worst of family life
Shot with hand-held cameras, “Rachel Getting Married” is “like the ‘Blair Witch’ of weddings” says Demme.
Filled with squabbles over everything from wedding party seating charts to Kym’s “problems,” Demme serves up a poignant look at the best and worst of family life. He also helps Hathaway deliver the best performance of her adult career.
“People always want to know what I used from my past to play Kym. That’s just too personal to discuss,” says Hathaway.
“But I knew that if I got this right it would be something. Jonathan promised me it would be great. I think we did it.”