ANNE Hathaway may look like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth but, like her Bride Wars character, the Golden Globe nominee’s sweetness hides a stern core.
If you believe Anne Hathaway, she’s not glamorous, not a role model and potentially not employable.
The 26-year-old — whose classic style, porcelain skin, dark doe eyes and Julia Roberts-like smile have made her a favourite on the red carpet — may be one of the movie industry’s most in-demand young actors . . . but don’t go telling her that.
‘‘I am facing unemployment squarely in the face,” she says, in a sing-song saccharine voice. The self-deprecating sentiment, one of many that pepper Hathaway’s conversation, is not quite believable from someone who was recently named one of Hollywood’s highest-paid female actors.
Hathaway has worked solidly since making her debut as a Disney darling in 2001’s Princess Diaries.
In the past three years her varying roles have included a brassy Texan wife in Brokeback Mountain, a fashion editor’s big-dreaming assistant in The Devil Wears Prada, legendary British writer Jane Austen in Becoming Jane, iconic spy Agent 99 in Get Smart and a recovering drug addict in Rachel Getting Married.
Her new film, romantic comedy Bride Wars, sees Hathaway playing a mild-mannered teacher whose inner Bridezilla is unleashed when her wedding is scheduled on the same day as her life-long best friend, played by Kate Hudson.
‘‘A lot of it has to do with the last thing I did,” Hathaway says of her role choices.
‘‘If I played a spy it makes sense to play a drug addict, and when I have played a drug addict it makes sense to play a schoolteacher.
‘‘When this fell in my lap and I could get the chance to work with Kate, I thought it was perfect.
‘‘I liked this story about the girl who changes and realises that she should be loved for who she is and not what people want her to be. So many girls have something to learn from that.”
For Hathaway, the past year has been a major learning curve when it comes to love.
Her four-year relationship with Italian real estate developer Raffaello Follieri ended in June amid controversy that was played out on the front pages of newspapers in her native New York.
Follieri was arrested and then jailed on fraud charges for allegedly fleecing investors out of millions of dollars in a scheme involving buying Catholic properties in the US for redevelopment.
Court papers state that Hathaway was an unwitting beneficiary of the stolen money which had in large part paid for the couple’s jetsetting, shopping sprees and fine dining.
Reports said the FBI had confiscated Hathaway’s private journals from the couple’s apartment as part of their investigation — though the actor was never implicated in any wrongdoing.
When asked how she feels about constantly being portrayed as a victim in the media — including a Vanity Fair cover story headlined ‘‘Was Anne Hathaway duped?” — Hathaway’s girly, sweeter-than-apple-pie demeanour falters for a moment.
‘‘Like which ones (stories)?” she fires up in a threatening tone.
‘‘I haven’t read them.”
The lines are delivered with a smile that would make any Beverly Hills dentist proud, but the message is clear — I may be beaming, but I can bite.
Hathaway quickly changes the topic — distractedly looking at the door of the plush hotel suite where the interview is taking place.
‘‘Who’s having a cigarette?” she asks, her head darting around like a sparrow.
‘‘That smells lovely. I just stopped smoking so I’m on Nicorette. I wish I could have one.”
It’s a somewhat strange public admission coming from someone whose wholesome image and charity work with children’s hospitals see her considered one of Hollywood’s ultimate young role models.
‘‘Oh, no, no, no I’m very far from it,” Hathaway says emphatically.
‘‘There is certainly no shortage of wonderful actors who are also wonderful people in the history of Hollywood; it’s just that all the ill-behaved ones get all the attention.”
Hathaway has recently parlayed her classic beauty and high profile into a lucrative contract with French cosmetics house Lancome.
An advertising campaign featured her dressed in her trademark red-carpet hue of scarlet.
‘‘It’s so much fun being paid to be glamorous when I’m not at all. It’s ridiculous,” she says.
The red-carpet glamour will continue during Hathaway’s jam-packed awards season.
She will find out next Thursday whether she has scored her first Oscar nomination for Rachel Getting Married.
Hathaway has already won a Critics’ Choice Award for her role as the black sheep of a family, who causes trouble when she returns home for her sister’s wedding.
She was also among the Best Actress nominations for the Golden Globes (where she lost out to Kate Winslet) and the Screen Actors Guild Awards (to be held January 25).
‘‘It seemed like it was kind of beyond me,” Hathaway says of such recognition.
‘‘I thought maybe when I was 50, then maybe.
‘‘I just think that as nice as it is, and it’s hugely flattering that people are saying that my work deserves that, it’s not a reality yet.
‘‘It’s a nice concept and of course I’m hopeful, but I’m also very pragmatic. We will see what happens.”
Hathaway won’t be long for the Bride Wars of this world if all the acclaim for her performance in Rachel Getting Married infects her with a case of ‘‘serious actor”.
She’s had symptoms before — playing the wife of Jake Gyllenhaal’s gay cowboy in Brokeback Mountain — but Rachel Getting Married could signal a full-blown outbreak.
‘‘I wanted the part because I thought, ‘What would it be like to have a manipulative streak a mile wide that you’re completely not aware of?’ ” Hathaway tells the New York Times about her reasons for taking the challenging role.
‘‘Yes, she is narcissistic, downright selfish in fact, but she is actually being the best version of herself she can (be) in every situation, and it’s not for me to judge her for it.”
She added that her role in Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain gave her the confidence to step up.
‘‘I had just about given up on myself as an actress when it came along. I just didn’t think I was any good, and felt lost.
‘‘Then to be cast as a character who had nothing to do with who I was, and do it in the company of people like Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams and not stick out like a sore thumb was huge.”
Bride Wars opens today. Rachel Getting Married opens Feb 12. Source: News Australia