Though our interview has been planned for weeks and confirmed repeatedly by her publicist, it’s still something of a surprise when Anne Hathaway walks through the doors of the rustic New York cafe she’s chosen as our meeting place. It is less than a month since her highly publicized breakup with her boyfriend of four years—the man with whom she’d been house hunting, whom she seemed to think she’d marry—30-year-old Italian businessman Raffaello Follieri. And it’s less than three weeks since Follieri was arrested for allegedly scamming his investors by falsely claiming ties to the Vatican and placed in prison with a $21 million bail on charges that could result in a life sentence.
Meanwhile, the press is having a field day. Headlines like THE PRINCESS AND THE CON MAN, blinded by love and burned by a loser coat the newsstands. The New York Post publishes regular reports from “friends” of Follieri about how Hathaway sold him out to the Feds. Even the ever sensitive Donald Trump has issued a statement to ABC News criticizing the actress for failing to stand by her man; he then appeared on Access Hollywood, sneering: “So when he had plenty of money, she liked him, but after that, not as good, right?” Perhaps the worst zinger came from Newsweek, of all places, which titled its report WHAT SHOULD HAVE TIPPED ANNE HATHAWAY THAT HER EX-BOYFRIEND WAS BIG TROUBLE? A—CROOKED DAD. B—BAD CHECKS. C—ALLEGED POPE SCAM. D—ALL OF THE ABOVE.
Ditching an interview in favor of hiding under her covers would not have been the most unreasonable of actions. Nevertheless, when Hathaway appears, precisely on time, she immediately launches into peppy and charming small talk about the New York Times crossword puzzle under her arm and the bulky, antiquated tape recorder I’ve placed on the table. “Oh, hello, 1992!” she chuckles delightedly.
But all the cheerful banter in the world could not obscure Hathaway’s tired eyes and drawn face, which she has not attempted to mask with makeup. Her hair is pulled back, and her figure, which for several weeks has appeared on the big screen in Get Smart in all its solid, curvaceous glory, is now more slender than ever, resembling something closer to a ballerina’s form than that of an ass-kicking secret agent. She is dressed in jeans and a short-sleeve plaid blouse, and around her neck she wears a pendant containing an antique lottery ticket. “I figure if it was a winning ticket, it would not have been discarded,” she says, “so essentially I walk around with an unlucky lottery ticket around my neck.” The overall effect is, well, heartbreaking. But there is also something very beautiful about Hathaway in this state, a delicateness not normally associated with the 25-year-old actress. On film, her face, with its prominent features—dark eyebrows, bulbous lips—can veer between the gorgeous and the awkward. Today, her features look almost tiny, mousy. Even her mouth, often compared to Julia Roberts’s when it breaks into a broad smile, looks dainty, perhaps because the broad smiles are in short supply.