Don't hate the player, hate the (fame) game. Anne Hathaway may seem like she has the whole A-list thing mastered, but as she revealed in an interview with Elle UK recently, she struggled for a long time to come to terms with the magnitude of her own celebrity.
The Les Miserables actress, 31 — who covers the November issue of the mag in a plunging black jumpsuit — told Elle UK she was ill-equipped to deal with the pressures of being in the spotlight because she hadn't yet cemented an identity for herself.
"This fame thing? F–ked me up for a really long time," she admitted (via the London Evening Standard). "I didn't know how to do it; I didn't know how to engage with it; it stressed me out. And people would say, 'You just have to be yourself,' and I was like, 'But I don't know who that is yet!'"
It didn't help, of course, that she faced so much backlash on her way to the top. After her Oscar-winning turn in Les Mis, Hathaway was criticized for everything from her acceptance speeches to her fashion choices. In part because of that, she took some time off from the biz — but now she's back with a new movie, Interstellar, and feeling better than ever.
"I've realized that I don't need validation from anybody," she told Elle UK. "At all. I'm not sitting here now worrying, 'What do you think of me?' With all due respect," she said, addressing her interviewer, "you seem like a lovely lady, but I don't need you, or anyone else, to like me. And that's so liberating."
Also liberating? Being able to let go in love. "The first year of my marriage was insane. So much happened so fast, and we didn't get to focus on just being married until about a year in," she said of husband Adam Shulman, whom she wed in 2012. "So now, it's just about letting myself feel safe. There was a part of me that I was keeping in reserve, and when I got married, something shifted…That question of, 'How long's this gonna last?' is off the table. And when you're not worried about that, there's space to just be silly."
That carefree attitude has spilled into other parts of her life, too. "The thing I've learned this past year is to chill out," she told the mag. "I think when you're young and struggling to find yourself, there's something alluring about the idea of being tortured. Life for me these days is a lot about letting the unknown be wonderful, and letting myself feel safe."
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