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Anne Hathaway (born November 12, 1982), the Academy Award and Golden Globe winning actress known as the master of Method acting and the greatest actress of her generation, has had a roller-coaster ride of a Hollywood career. At first playing girly-girl role-model characters in The Princess Novels and The Cute Princess Finds Love, Hathaway then apparently went crazy as a bedbug (but a cute smart bedbug). During the filming of her next several movies she repeatedly exposed her breasts, damaged the fabric of society, cheated death at cards, and acted as a simpering lackey to transvestite superstar Melvin Luther "Meryl" Streep (known as the greatest actress of hir generation).
"Anne Hathaway defines acting," film critic Roger Ebert once said at a Kennedy Center dinner honoring the star. "When others are satisfied to live one life in habitual safety, she lives each day anew, as an adventure and a feast, and we are lucky and privileged when she sometimes takes us along."
Born in a log cabin in downtown Fargo, North Dakota, Hathaway had a wide range of interests as a child. When other children played with stones, frogs, and puppets, Hathaway, who is as intelligent as Einstein but without the accent, founded the Fargo Historical Society, spent her weekends traveling with the buffalo herd in the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, used every spare moment to study nature and life's behavioral patterns. Her mind eventually focused into a yogi-like brilliance and concentrative state just before she entered puberty, and, once there, Hathaway discovered her extraordinary talent for pretending. Putting her full and considerable attention onto the study and practice of Lee Strasberg's famed Method Acting technique, she took the lead role in her high school's production of "To Catch A Thief". After robbing the opening night audience at gunpoint, and fleeing into the lobby, she was quickly caught (just as she'd hoped), subdued, and spent the next year of her "Early life" in juvenile detention. She enthusiastically relished this experience, and considered it not only as just another classroom of life but as essential for someone in the acting profession.
Once freed from the custody of the state of North Dakota, and with her spirits and talent as high as ever, Anne Hathaway followed her destiny.
Hollywood beckons, and The Princess Movies
The bright lights, the Hollywood sign, the numerous hand-foot-mouth-and-genital prints imprinted in the sidewalk cement, who could resist this glamour? Not young Anne Hathaway, who instinctively gravitated to this Mecca of Fame, Fortune, and Friskyness. Smiling, giggling, laughing, she got off the bus, a twinkle in her eye and a bounce in her step, when she was immediately grabbed by two towering and slobbering crack addicts, ruffed up, robbed, and left dazed at the Bus Terminal entrance.
You all know the rest of the story. Father-figure Jack Nicholson happened to be jogging by the Bus Terminal when he saw the youthful shape of the woman lying there, liked what he saw, swung her over his shoulder, and carried her right to the Disney Studio lot. Still bruised and semi-conscious, Hathaway was cast as the girl who didn't know she was a Princess in The Princess Novels. "I had a concussion, and don't remember the first few days of shooting," said Hathaway in a 2004 interview with an offscreen friend, Walter Cronkite, "and when I finally came to, some bald guy was waltzing me around a room, calling me Princess Mia, and looking down my dress. 'What in God's name?' I thought to myself."
But Hathaway quickly sized up the situation and, applying her full range of Method acting, instantly became a Princess. During the next two years, while she filmed two Princess movies, conducted countless press interviews, and made hundreds of lecture appearances and starring at fan conventions, Hathaway did not once, not even once, remember her real name. She had become, her heart, mind, and soul, Mia, the Princess.
Hathaway shows them how the game is played
Fame had already started stalking the perky actress when she finally regained her ego-centered identity, and Hathaway decided to just lay back and enjoy it. She sought and obtained the important societal niche known as "The Darling of the Tabloid's" by becoming, in quick succession, the Dalai Lama's biographer, a progressive Native American Congresswoman from North Dakota, and "the other clear" in the Cruise-Holmes-Hathaway triangle. For a brief time Hathaway was a fugitive from justice after seriously injuring one-note actress Scarlett Johansson during a Vegas shopping spree.
Hathaway, chameleon-like, had successfully reflected and captivated American culture. She then lulled it to sleep.
Hathaway Stays in Character, Reshapes the Republican Party
"I am in awe of her talent," said Ang Lee, who directed Hathaway in his acclaimed biopic Eva Braun: Hitler's Plaything, War's Evil Waif, "and I am afraid of her talent, and of her to be quite frank about it." For during the 2007 filming of the movie, Anne Hathaway oversaw the reshaping of today's Republican Party.
In character throughout the filming, and working during gaps in the shooting schedule, Hathaway first chose and began to date an obscure house painter from Madison, Wisconsin. Then, through a series of speeches, backroom deals, large gatherings on the Mall in Washington, D.C., and in the aftermath of a mysterious fire in the U.S. Capitol Building, she propelled her boyfriend into the chairmanship of the GOP. Together they organized the illiterate peasantry of America into small groups which disrupted political Town Hall meetings, waved cardboard signs at each other, and terrorized the nation's ruling class into complete and total submission to the most oppressive Bush administration policies. Her actions led directly to the election and re-election of a progressive black man who then boldly occupied the White House.
When filming ended, Hathaway quickly broke character, denounced the GOP, laughed at the gullibility of its followers, and good-naturedly apologized for her actions in a 60 Minutes interview. "You know me," she said, smiling brightly at Mike Wallace, "when I get on one of my rolls, boy, Katie bar the door!"
Before we go on, a word about Anne Hathaway's lips
Dozens of Fan Clubs for Anne Hathaway's lips have been organized, and Hathaway herself edits the newsletter and serves as vice-president of one of them. Her lips have a life of their own (they and Anne sometimes take separate vacations). The accenting from Hathaway's eyes, hair, and nose actually propel her lips to another level, and from there they often start to sing.
"Strange, that they should exist as they do," said her friend, actress Kate Hudson, whose admiration-shrine to her idol includes a lipstick impression of Hathaway's lips on a rainbowed vibrator. "Nobody can explain why they are so interesting and sensual," Hudson added, "I think it's a combination of the size, angle of placement, crease lines extending laterally along the cheek, specific shade of color in relationship to the brain's ability to differentiate surface luminosity, mandible shape and density, and her genetically-predetermined orbicularis oris, zygomaticus minor, and buccinator muscle movements which animate them when she speaks, eats, or smiles. They are very interesting, and I like to look at them when I'm high".
The Breast Era
Hathaway bared her breasts in her next two movies. In Alfred Hitchcock's gay-western thriller, BigRocks Candy Mountain, she played the bemused wife of an openly-gay cowboy who was secretly into beastiality. The film broke several Hollywood taboos, including showing graphic man-on-man sex-in-a-tent and the famous waterfall romp between Jake Gyllenhaal and an enthusiastic lemur. Hathaway's character, unbeknownst to Gyllenhaal's, was also having affairs with his male lover, his lemur soul-mate, and with Hitchcock himself during the director's trademark film walk-on.
Hathaway next starred in the overlooked and straight-to-video Havoc, in which she "played" an adventurous suburban girl who goes slumming and eventually has full-on naked sex with that little guy from Six Feet Under. During Havoc's filming Hathaway's Method acting again took her in an unfortunate direction. Each evening, after shooting wrapped, she'd cruise South-Central L.A., and soon became a gang trixie for the Latino Junk Lords. In an interesting brain-wiring confusion, she would also haphazardly knock on doors of local funeral homes in an attempt to find "Rico". When filming ended, and after six weeks in a local county hospital with just a touch of corrective surgery on her ovaries and shoulders, Hathaway, luckily, was able to break character and prepare for some of her most acclaimed roles to date.
The Devil Wears Nada and Rachael's Wedding Crasher
In The Devil Wears Nada, the first all-nude major Hollywood blockbuster, Hathaway plays the assistant to the satanic Meryl Streep. Acting pretty much like her real-life self, Hathaway lights up the screen as she dashes from place to place, buying the Devil coffee and picking up her dry cleaning (for when she wasn't nude). Method acting did Hathaway little harm in this role, as she, in real life, just dashed from place to place, buying coffee and picking up her friends' dry cleaning. She was, however, held for questioning for several hours in a London's Scotland Yard concerning a missing copy of author J.K. Rowling's last unpublished Harry Potter manuscript.
In Rachael's Wedding Crasher Hathaway stars as the self-centered drug-addicted bipolar sister of Rachael Moon Masters, and manages to get all of the attention, at every step of the way, that the Bride should be receiving. During the filming, and in a strange echoing of the script, Hathaway's incarcerations in several rehabs and psychiatric hospitals again led to calls for the closure of New York's famed Method Actor's Studio.
White Lace and Promises
The coveted Oscars for Best Actress and Best Director came Anne Hathaway's way when she wrote, directed, edited, starred in, and performed the songs for White Lace and Promises, the 2009 Karen Carpenter biopic.
Subconsciously sensing that this may be the role of a lifetime, Hathaway stopped eating and began singing. Her friends, family, and stalkers organized interventions, her admirers and detractors unified to place large billboards at key freeway locations in Los Angeles which read simply Anne, WTF?, and even Keira Knightley asked aloud "just what is Hathaway doing?". But Anne Hathaway, one of the greatest method actors in film history, didn't understand what they were talking about. "When I look in the mirror," she said in a Rolling Stone interview written during filming, "I see what you see, a fat girl, and I am so ashamed. I should not be doing this role, I'm obese for God's sake, but I've committed to see the project through."
After the film's release, and the same day its soundtrack-CD went platinum ("Nobody has the vocal range of Anne Hathaway," critics agreed, "except for Karen Carpenter, and maybe Sinead O'Connor on one of her good days"), Hathaway was once again court-ordered into rehab. It took a month of intense group-therapy to bring her out of character, to get her singing voice back to its normal off-key screech, and to save her life.
A year before filming her seventeen minutes in the acclaimed 2012 musical Les Miserables Hathaway put on her character, Fantine, and wouldn't answer to any other name. She lived the life of an unwed mother in Louis XVIII's France, and hired the best set designers and costumers in Hollywood to emerge her in that era. Six months before filming she spent a small fortune hiring local prostitutes to loudly sing at her and for men to treat her like dirt, sometimes for hours at a time. Hathaway had planned to gain back a little weight after playing Karen Carpenter, but after agreeing to play Fantine she lost another 25 pounds and her face started to look like something from The Nightmare Before Christmas.
When filming finally started, Hathaway snuck around the set, trying to sell body parts and moaning about her lot in life to anyone who'd listen or had the cash. Everyone avoided her once her hair and back teeth were gone. Russell Crowe used a body-double for his two small scenes with Hathaway, and Hugh Jackman, playing the thief who starts pretending he's a mayor and sings up a storm in the process, was the only one who got along with her. Fun fact: Jackman, another method actor, honestly believed that he was hiding from Russell Crowe. This made for some funny moments around the set when Crowe would randomly walk up on him and order him to pick up something heavy.
Hathaway died during Fantine's climatic death scene. But Sasha Baron Cohen had a feeling she was going to pull that stunt, and hired a CPR medi-vac team to stand-by just outside the shoot. They came in singing a boisterous song about their craft and revived her.
The Future is bright
When not filming, Anne Hathaway lives on a spacious ranch in Montana and winters in her bordello in Rio de Janeiro, where she is known as "El Snake-Bite Senorita". Her hobbies include sand diving, calligraphic duplication of ancient Sumerian manuscripts, biking, and occasional land-mine removal in Bosnia but not in Herzegovina ("Just a quirky preference," she says).
But acting remains Hathaway's first love, and film critics and fans alike believe that a third or even fourth Academy Award will someday land in Hathaway's lap (along with Hollywood Bad-Boy Jack Black). Her upcoming roles include Jungle Fever 3-D where she plays a young chimpanzee stranded thousands of miles from her home, Princess Diana in the Ritchie/Al-Fayed production of Snuffed Just Before the Payoff (American title: Diana, We Love You!), and as both the title character and the caterwauling rattle-brained mistress in the $400-million dollar special-effects laden remake of Citizen Kane.