PHOTO: HUB IMAGERY
As excited as you are when you discover you're pregnant, it's not always the easiest conversation to have with your boss.
That's even truer when you're in the middle of filming a movie whose success not only hinges on you but features you playing a woman who is clearly not pregnant.
That was Anne Hathaway when she came to Colossal director Nacho Vigalondo with her news. "I was a little scared to tell Nacho. I didn’t think it would go down well," she admitted to Spring.St.
Vigalondo was happy for his star, but the implications soon hit: "Wait, can you still do the movie?" When Hathaway replied, "I’m not sick, I’m pregnant," the director knew just want to do:
"He was like, 'I think this can work for us because Gloria’s a drunk. She’s tired and exhausted, she’s bloated. This is a perfect fit!'"
Here, the very down-to-earth, charming and relatable Hathaway—who lives in Los Angeles with husband, Adam Shulman, and their 1-year-old son, Jonathan—shares what drew her to a movie that she calls "indescribable"—and what comes next as she juggles working motherhood as well as a bit of Rihanna fangirl love.
In Colossal, you play Gloria, a washed-up writer with no job, no boyfriend, an alcohol dependency—and a kinetic connection with a monster terrorizing the streets of Seoul. How did you get into the mind of a person going through something so common yet so extraordinary?
I felt I understood Gloria’s status as an "under the radar" drunk… just someone who’s cruising along, bumpily, isn’t standing up on tables and singing, kicking glasses, none of that.
She’s cruising along and sort of passes out, never quite goes to sleep and then just sort of wakes up, in it. I’ve been her. I’ve been there at different points in my life. Maybe not to the length of time she finds herself in this emotional quagmire, but I get it.
Just… you get down, you despair, you wonder, Will it get better? which it inevitably does. I’m making it sound much worse that it was but we’re all the same—life’s a rollercoaster.
I'll be honest. I would have taken you for a teetotaler.
No, god, no. I am not [laughs]!
Before I went to college, maybe, but then I went to Vassar College in New York and let loose. Maybe went a little further than I should have at times. It was never out of control—but yes, I did it. I think most people are shocked to learn I’m not a teetotaler, far from it.
Emily Blunt said for The Girl on the Train she'd "un-focus" her eyes to play drunk. What was your trick?
I found it very helpful in those scenes where I’m playing a drunk who’s trying to be sober that before they’d say "action" I’d spin around in a circle as many times as I could, so I’d be in this very disorientated, wobbly space. And then I’d attempt to walk in a straight line, which is impossible. So it worked!
You’re back to work after a break to have your son and have a lot of movies in the pipeline. How's working motherhood going?
I was so fearful that I wouldn’t be able to get pregnant. It wasn’t the easiest journey and it’s something I wanted for a long time. But it happened and he’s here and I’m so happy that he is.
Everything after that is a gift. I have literally been making it up as I go, but so far so good. So far so amazing, in fact. We got him to his first birthday! It’s great.
There’s lots of talk about your upcoming movie Oceans Eight, given it has such a phenomenal cast—and certainly, Rihanna has caused something of a stir. Are you a fan?
Who isn’t? Even if you don’t think you know a Rihanna song, you do. It’s impossible not to.
One of the biggest pop stars in the world is sitting across from me and all I can hear in my head is, "Work work work work work." I've had to fight the compulsion to sing it so hard because that’s not going to be a good look!
This interview has been edited and condensed.