Film
2:27 pm
Tue November 30, 2010

Anne Hathaway: From Princesses To Passion

The co-star of Love and Other Drugs describes what it's like to go from the sweet, PG-rated fantasy of The Princess Diaries to shooting some fairly explicit romantic-drama nude scenes with Jake Gyllenhaal.

Anne Hathaway co-stars in Edward Zwick's comedic drama Love and Other Drugs with actor Jake Gyllenhaal, and their onscreen chemistry ? not to mention some fairly explicit nude scenes ? led Entertainment Weekly to proclaim the film "the sexiest movie of the year."

Hathaway plays Maggie, a free spirit with early-onset Parkinson's disease who remains wary of committed relationships because she doesn't want to burden a partner with her eventual medical needs. Gyllenhaal's Jamie, a Viagra salesman, is equally averse to falling in love ? until he meets Maggie, who is not exactly quick to fall for him.

Hathaway says that instead of using lawyers and agents to negotiate boundaries for the nude scenes in the film ? as it's typically done, she explains ? both she and Gyllenhaal asked for creative control over the final cuts. (That's power many directors might not surrender, but with stars like these ...)

So what you see onscreen, Hathaway tells Terry Gross, is exactly what she and Gyllenhaal were comfortable revealing.

"I cut probably a total of about 5 seconds out of the nude scenes," she says. "Maybe it was just me being sensitive, but for whatever reason, I thought the camera lingered a little bit, and Ed had no problems just taking them out."

Hathaway's rise to stardom has encompassed an interesting range of films ? highly commercial blockbusters like Bride Wars and Get Smart, as well as critically acclaimed dramas like Brokeback Mountain and Rachel Getting Married, and family-oriented fantasies including Ella Enchanted and The Princess Diaries, opposite Julie Andrews.

In 2006, shortly after filming Brokeback Mountain, Hathaway took the lead role in The Devil Wears Prada, playing the assistant to a high-powered fashion magazine editor played by Meryl Streep. Working with Streep on a daily basis solidified her own career plans, she says.

"It was an incredible thing to watch her transform ? to watch her be Meryl in the rehearsal room, and then she would completely disappear for the next 13 hours," Hathaway says. "And I don't think I'd ever seen acting like that ? on the cellular level ? up close before, and for such a long period of time. It made me want to do that."

Interview Highlights

On directors

"I am an actor who believes film is the director's medium. And I got along so well with [director] Ang Lee [on Brokeback Mountain] because I showed up and said, 'What color do you need me to be today in your painting?' I was so happy to serve him and his story and his vision, so I would just do anything he told me to do."

On playing Kym Buchanan in 'Rachel Getting Married'

"She's my favorite. I think she always will be. She's got such a tremendous heart, and the chips are so stacked against her. ... I had been given the script for Rachel Getting Married from the wonderful Jonathan Demme about a year before we actually filmed, and I bonded with her the first time I read it. Jonathan and I spent a year talking about the character until we got the financing together and we filmed it. And I just tried to get inside of her head as deeply as I could."

On what Streep taught her

"I didn't realize that an actor could have that level of focus and still be spontaneous. And her vocal work just amazed me ? her breathing. From a technical standpoint, I didn't know how she could be so on top of everything and still be so relaxed. And that just really blew my mind ? how deep in her bones she'd taken the character."

On working with Julie Andrews in 'The Princess Diaries'

"I was so tongue-tied around her all the time. And she's the nicest person, she couldn't be warmer, I was just incredibly intimidated. ... I was so green and so at sea in a lot of ways, and she and [director] Garry [Marshall] were kind to me and did a lot to shape my performance."