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Anne Hathaway Says “Hathahate” Cost Her Roles, Then Came Christopher Nolan

Anne Hathaway won an Oscar. Then her career took a turn for the worse.

The actress says in a new profile that co-hosting the 2013 Oscars and taking home the honor for best supporting actress for Les Misérables marked a tipping point where her online and media reputation turned “toxic” — to the point where she says it cost her movie roles.

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The viral phenomenon dubbed “Hathahate” had no actual cause, other than the actress enjoying a surge in exposure and popularity that got her dubbed “annoying” by some, taking her from It Girl to Not-It Girl thanks to some online backlash.

After winning the Oscar, Hathaway told Vanity Fair, “a lot of people wouldn’t give me roles, because they were so concerned about how toxic my identity had become online.”

Then director Christopher Nolan came along, casting her in his blockbuster film Interstellar (2014).

“I had an angel in Christopher Nolan, who did not care about that and gave me one of the most beautiful roles I’ve had in one of the best films that I’ve been a part of,” she said of Nolan casting her in the Matthew McConaughey-led space epic. (She also starred in Nolan’s The Dark Knight Rises in 2012.) “I don’t know if he knew that he was backing me at the time, but it had that effect. And my career did not lose momentum the way it could have if he hadn’t backed me.”

She added, “Humiliation is such a rough thing to go through. The key is to not let it close you down. You have to stay bold, and it can be hard because you’re like, ‘If I stay safe, if I hug the middle, if I don’t draw too much attention to myself, it won’t hurt.’ But if you want to do that, don’t be an actor. You’re a tightrope walker. You’re a daredevil. You’re asking people to invest their time and their money and their attention and their care into you. So you have to give them something worth all of those things. And if it’s not costing you anything, what are you really offering?”

After the Oscars, a New York Times story asked, “Do We Really Hate Anne Hathaway?” and ran down some of the barbs she endured from the media, such as The San Francisco Chronicle dubbing her “The most annoying celebrity” of the year and a New Yorker writer exploring the question, “Why are you so annoying?” Hathaway’s Oscar co-host James Franco went on The Howard Stern Show where the radio host said, “Everyone sort of hates Anne Hathaway” and said she comes off “so affected and actressy.” To which Franco replied, “I’m not an expert on — I guess they’re called ‘Hatha-haters’ — but I think that’s what maybe triggers it.”

In reaction to the new interview, one user on Reddit pointed out: “I think it’s bonkers that so many actresses are on thin ice, no matter how likable they are, or how talented they are, a lot of people, especially in online spaces are waiting for them to just slip up, or not even slipping up, just anything they can deem ‘unlikable’ and voilà! the rest of the Internet runs with it. Anne Hathaway has been nothing but likable, and the ‘hate campaign’ against her was crazy. Reddit turned on Jennifer Lawrence bc she was like, ‘Don’t watch my leaked nudes.’ Some male actors go through it too, but if they reach the ‘Internet boyfriend’ status, they’re practically untouchable. Rachel Zegler and Brie Larson too. They made harmless statements about modernizing an old story [and] the statements were misinterpreted and then it spread like wildfire, and now every post they make, there are people telling them to kill themselves. The pop culture corner of the Internet is toxic. Not saying that misogyny didn’t exist before, but the Internet has amplified these voices.”

Hathaway is currently promoting her upcoming Amazon rom-com The Idea of You, which recently had its debut at the South by Southwest Film & TV Festival and will be released on Prime Video on May. 2.

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