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Anne Hathaway Teases ‘Princess Diaries 3,’ Recalls Past as a ‘Chronically Stressed Young Woman’ (Exclusive)

Anne Hathaway Teases Princess Diaries Recalls Past as a Chronically Stressed Young Woman
Anne Hathaway Taylor Hill/FilmMagic

Anne Hathaway broke into Hollywood with her quirky and lovable character in The Princess Diaries, but off camera, her early career was full of stress.

“As a formerly chronically stressed young woman, I just remember thinking one day, ‘You are taking this for granted. You are taking your life for granted,’” Hathaway, 41, said in Us Weekly’s exclusive preview from The New York Times Magazine’s debut episode of “The Interview” podcast, which drops in its entirety on Saturday, April 27.

Hathaway recalled telling herself, “You have no idea. Something could fall through the sky, and that would be lights out.”

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As a seasoned actress in her 40s, Hathaway has tried to move past those fears. “So when I find the old instincts rising, I just tell myself, ‘You are not going to die stressed,’” she explained.

The Oscar winner noted that as a young woman she “didn’t know how to breathe yet,” remembering that was “really complicated” for her.

Anne Hathaway Teases Princess Diaries Recalls Past as a Chronically Stressed Young Woman
Anne Hathaway Devin Oktar Yalkin for The New York Times

When asked what specifically she was so stressed about in the past, Hathaway responded, “The simple answer is literally everything. I was very in my head about a lot of things.”

Hathaway dived deeper into her former quirks and stressors during her podcast episode, which is also featured in The New York Times Magazine. Plus, she teased The Princess Diaries 3 and an easter egg fans will notice in The Idea of You.

Scroll down for more of what we learned from Hathaway’s latest interview:

When Is ‘Princess Diaries 3’ Coming?

Reporter David Marchese asked if “anything” was “cooking” with the next installment of the Disney movie franchise, to which Hathaway replied, “Yep.”

She teased, “I don’t think it would be nice” to tell fans any more details.

Does She Have a Favorite Past Project?

“I like to look toward the horizon rather than back at what I’ve done,” the actress said when asked about her movie history. “I don’t watch my films. I love that so many of my movies are the films that you cuddle up with; I’m aware of that aspect of it, but the concept of having a name is weird. The idea of having a name that signifies something that could qualify as an Easter egg, it’s not a concept that I think about a lot.”

‘The Idea of You’ Does Have an Easter Egg About Her Hometown

In the 2024 movie, Hathaway’s character, Solène, is described as “a people pleaser from New Jersey,” which she said she “might have” suggested.

“I think I’m a former people pleaser from New Jersey. So much of the reason I was drawn to acting is that it was an outlet for expression that I could not find on my own,” Hathaway said of the movie nod. “And in the space between feeling so connected when I was acting and so lost when I wasn’t, you try to make your way, and one of the ways that you make your way is, ‘Oh, if I do this, that will make someone else happy, and maybe that’s what I’m supposed to be doing.’”

She added: “It takes a long time to go, ‘That doesn’t really matter if you don’t know who you are.’ Unless you just want an identity that’s all about pleasing people, which I suppose is perfectly valid. But I’m not that nice.”

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Age Is Just a Number

Hathaway was excited to play a 40-something in The Idea of You but doesn’t think of hitting that age in reality as an accomplishment.

“I don’t take it that seriously. There are so many other things I identify as milestones,” she shared. “I don’t normally talk about it, but I am over five years sober. That feels like a milestone to me. Forty feels like a gift.”

Does She Dwell on Her Past Stress?

“My goal is to heal it and not relive it. I’m not trying to be evasive. I don’t spend a great deal of time thinking about it because I feel that I found a window and I climbed through it. I work hard to just be present,” the Devil Wears Prada actress explained. “Like I said, I’m more grateful. I’m more settled in myself. I’m less afraid of things not happening. You know, the time in which I was an emerging adult was a different time. We weren’t having the types of conversations that we were having now.”

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Adam Sandler Kept Her Spirits High While Working on ‘The Idea of You’

“When I was making The Idea of You, I was so spoiled, staying in a beautiful house in Atlanta, Georgia, that was much larger than my needs,” she recalled. “I would get home from work, and I’d be in this house by myself, and that was giving me the heebie-jeebies.”

Hathaway realized that she was uncomfortable because “there was no laughter in the house.” To combat the quietness, she began listening to stand-up specials, including Sandler’s “100% Fresh.”

“As extraordinary, beloved and iconic as Adam Sandler is, I think he’s underappreciated,” the actress revealed. “I can quote you every line from Billy Madison and Happy Gilmore and The Wedding Singer.”

Hathaway noted that she feels “much more comfortable talking about Adam Sandler, whom I’ve never met, than I do talking about what makes me tick.” She concluded, “I just need to figure out how to practice.”

Listen to Hathaway’s full episode of “The Interview” podcast here, with new episodes airing every Saturday. Readers can also find the conversations online and in print in NYT Mag.

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