Anne Hathaway: Anne Hathaway on 'The Idea of You,' rom-coms and her Paul McC...

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Published Time: 02.05.2024 - 19:00:51 Modified Time: 02.05.2024 - 19:00:51

"But truly, I'm led by passion and instinct." Anne Hathaway

"It probably would be advantageous if I was a little bit more strategic my career," Hathaway says of the rom-com, which "just released something inside of me when I read the script."

"But truly, I'm led by passion and instinct."

Solène – emotionally complex, earnestly hopeful, embracing the risk of love – is striking a chord. The film's warm reception at South By Southwest and record-breaking trailer sparks gratitude in Hathaway.

Her first starring role came in 2001's "The Princess Diaries," and "I remember the premiere of that film so well. I didn't have the life experience to totally understand what was happening. I appreciated it, but I also didn't know how rare it was," she says. "To be embraced by a (SXSW) audience in a way that felt awfully familiar – to have the success of the trailer – I've had enough experiences that have not gone so astonishingly well, so I'm just letting myself enjoy this one."

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Hathaway, 41, is energized to "see women so lit up" because "they've just seen something that speaks to them."

"I'm not much of a cook, but I imagine it's how you feel after you make a really, really delicious, satisfying meal for someone," Hathaway says.

Solène, mom to Izzy (Ella Rubin), is "quite serious, but also really funny at the same time," Hathaway says. "Characters are (usually) parsed into one of two camps."

Hayes is "persistent and he's charming and flirtatious" – tracking Solène down after their first chance encounter – while being "someone who is extremely worldly" and "really wants to be taken seriously," says Galitzine ("Mary & George," "Red, White & Royal Blue"). The British actor, 29, who has "never seen a boy band in concert" but "grew up listening to the Backstreet Boys," sings in the film and finds a comfortable charisma with his fictional bandmates.

The movie's nuanced portrayal of their age gap, the outside pressures of the celebrity-civilian dynamic and the misogyny Soléne faces at the hands of tabloids and her daughter's classmates is "part of a cultural conversation the way we feel entitled to criticize women, and the way we feel entitled to think women rather than experience them as themselves," Hathway says on a video call from Atlanta, where she's shooting her upcoming movie "Flowervale Street."

The characters' 16-year age difference has prompted the internet to draw parallels between former One Direction member Harry Styles and Olivia Wilde's romance (though the film's source material was published years prior). Galitzine hopes "the movie will go a way to normalize this depiction onscreen."

"These are two who are just connecting in an extremely deep way," says Galitzine. "The age becomes almost insignificant in a way because they have such a chemistry and they have such an understanding of each other, and Hayes has such an emotional maturity. And so, really, the thing to overcome is the fame of it all, and that almost becomes the main antagonist in a way."

Hathaway loves that the film's central relationship provides "hope and this exploration that your life is yours and it's to be enjoyed by you, and only you know how it's going. Perhaps one of the signs of maturity is being able to define your life for yourself."

Alongside the perhaps surprising level of emotional depth, the film uses all the fodder that puts the "rom" in rom-com: Soléne and Hayes dodging paparazzi in LA, a New York hotel romp, kisses on European beaches. It was a journey for Hathaway as both actress and executive producer.

"When you're a producer, you're just like, 'Oh, my gosh, my name is on this thing.' It has to just function in terms of how it's designed on a practical level," Hathaway says filming out of sequence. "So that meant (filming) in the morning, I could be like freshly in love. And then just after lunch, I had to be emotionally devastated. And then by the time like dinner rolled around, I had to find a shred of hope."

Galitzine, a fan of the movie's director Michael Showalter, had Hathaway "on my bucket list of actors that I really hoped to work with in my career." He spotted her in the audition room and felt "immediately connected."

The onscreen chemistry between the two is palpable; his audition left no question of who was right for the part, Hathaway says.

Without any true sex scenes, the movie relies on the couple's steamy romantic connection. "We actually thought it'd be sexier if we could make feel things without visually stimulating them," Hathaway says.

"I got to see Paul McCartney live" in 2009, Hathaway says. "There's this song and I was really hoping he was going to play it. There must have been 70,000 there, and he played the first chord and then stopped because there was something wrong with the guitar, but 70,000 knew exactly what was to happen and we all had the same idea at the same moment. And as great as he was, that part of the concert, to just like feel all of our hearts lift at the same exact time, was so beautiful."