Anne Hathaway has the rare and coveted luxury of being one of Hollywood’s most-sought after and bankable young actresses and also being respected for her talent and intellect, but in the January issue of Glamour the actress stunned fans with an admission that she still struggles from an obsessive body-image complex.
Hathaway, 30, recently lost 25 pounds to play the role of Fantine, a starving, tuberculosis-ridden prostitute in the upcoming Tim Hooper-directed film adaptation of “Les Miserables” – a physique she joked that she achieved by subsisting largely on a diet of “kale and dust” – and according to her November Vogue profile she “remains very thin, though not unhealthy-looking.”
“I had to be obsessive about it, the idea was to look near death,” Hathaway said of the dieting. “Looking back on the whole experience, and I don’t judge it in any way, it was definitely a little nuts. It was definitely a break with reality, but I think that’s who Fantine is anyway.”
Despite Hathaway’s noticeably slimmer figure and newfound vegan diet, the actress admitted in her interview with Eve Ensler for Glamour that she continues to feel “stressed” about her weight to an extent that she thought would have diminished by her thirties.
“I still feel the stress over ‘Am I thin enough? Am I too thin? Is my body the right shape?’” Hathaway said.
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“And is that an everyday obsession?” asked Ensler. “If I’m honest, yes. There’s an obsessive quality to it that I thought I would’ve grown out of by now. It’s an ongoing source of shame for me.”
The comments were surprising given that Hathaway has become something of a red carpet darling over the years -- so much so that renowned Italian fashion designer Valentino, who custom-designed Hathaway’s gown for her September wedding to Adam Shulman -- admitted that he thinks of the star as a “daughter.”
Conversely, Hathaway suggested that her consistent appearances on "Best Dressed" lists may have contributed to the “stress” over how she looks.
"I just think about the ridicule you get if you have an off day. If people weren't watching, I'd be so much more eccentric," she said. "I actually really don't feel like getting made fun of. So I put on something boring and navy and go out and try to disappear."
"I know it makes me sound weak," she confessed, "rather than make myself happy and wear the silly hat and say, 'Oh, I don't care.'"