A young Anne Hathaway in The Princess Diaries (2001)

Anne Hathaway Shares ‘Gross’ Audition Story From What Is Thankfully (Hopefully) ‘a Very Different Time’

Anne Hathway has been through some pretty unpleasant things during her acting career.

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First of all there was the sexist, nasty “Hathahate” era where everyone piled on her for… Being too enthusiastic? Being deemed “inauthentic”? Who knows (misogyny has very little logic after all) but it definitely took its toll on her. Now Hathaway has spoken about the extremely uncomfortable situations she was put in when she was a young actress just starting out.

This type of audition was messed up

In a new interview with V Magazine, Hathaway shared a gross audition process she was subjected to, where she was expected to kiss male co-stars to “test for chemistry.” This happened in the 2000s. Hathaway was 17 when she starred in 2001’s The Princess Diaries, so she would have been scarcely out of teenagerhood while all this was going on.

Hathaway explained, “Back in the 2000s—and this did happen to me—it was considered normal to ask an actor to make out with other actors to test for chemistry. Which is actually the worst way to do it. I was told, ‘We have ten guys coming today and you’re cast. Aren’t you excited to make out with all of them?’ And I thought, ‘Is there something wrong with me?’ because I wasn’t excited. I thought it sounded gross.”

And yet, despite not wanting to, Hathaway felt pressure to kiss all the men. “I was so young and terribly aware how easy it was to lose everything by being labeled ‘difficult,’ so I just pretended I was excited and got on with it,” she said. It wasn’t a power play, no one was trying to be awful or hurt me. It was just a very different time and now we know better.”

We still have a long way to go but at least the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements have now drawn new levels of attention to sexual misconduct in Hollywood—and misconduct can very much happen in situations where no one was trying to hurt anyone, like Hathaway’s. What happened there was that nobody stopped to assume she might not be excited about kissing ten different guys, or that she might feel pressured to do so—and nobody considered the power dynamics at play.

When Time’s Up hit Hollywood, many, many actresses spoke out about their own experiences, and Hathaway was one of them. Speaking to Glamour magazine in 2018, she said,

“I’ve had a 20-year career and I’ve had some really, really bad experiences, but I’ve had a lot of great ones too—with members of both genders. While they do not begin to approach the atrocious, galling stories others have shared in recent months, I have had negative on-set experiences, some of a sexual nature. Some are from the beginning of my career, some are more recent—all are unacceptable.”

Yes they are. Here’s to hoping future generations of actresses will have far fewer negative experiences than their predecessors.

(featured image: Walt Disney Pictures)


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Author
Sarah Barrett
Sarah Barrett (she/her) is a freelance writer with The Mary Sue who has been working in journalism since 2014. She loves to write about movies, even the bad ones. (Especially the bad ones.) The Raimi Spider-Man trilogy and the Star Wars prequels changed her life in many interesting ways. She lives in one of the very, very few good parts of England.