Anne Hathaway Recalls the Backlash After Winning Her Oscar

The actress was suddenly hated by everyone for a period of time and it was not an easy thing to get away from.

HOLLYWOOD, CA - FEBRUARY 24:  Actress Anne Hathaway, winner of the Best Supporting Actress award for...
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Actress Anne Hathaway won an Oscar in 2013 for Best Supporting Actress. Her role in the film adaptation of the musical Les Miserables earned her the prize, but it was a pinnacle with a steep drop. Just after her win, the general public and especially the Internet turned on Miss Hathaway. For a while there, she could seemingly do nothing right.

The star has since recovered her popularity (and equilibrium) and continues to be an influential figure in her field. The 39-year-old actress addressed that challenging period on Monday, October 17, while giving a speech at the Elle Women in Hollywood event.

“Ten years ago, I was given an opportunity to look at the language of hatred from a new perspective,” she began. “For context — this was a language I had employed with myself since I was seven. And when your self-inflicted pain is suddenly somehow amplified back at you at, say, the full volume of the internet…It’s a thing.”

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She continued, “When it happened to me, I realized that this wasn’t it. This wasn’t the spot. When what happened, happened, I realized I had no desire to have anything to do with this line of energy, on any level. I would no longer create art from this place. I would no longer hold space for it, live in fear of it, nor speak its language for any reason, to anyone, including myself.

“We don’t have enough time to discuss all the myriad causes of the violent language of hatred, and the imperative need to end it. Because there is a difference between existence and behavior. You can judge behavior. You can forgive behavior or not. But you do not have the right to judge — and especially not hate — someone for existing. And if you do, you’re not where it’s at.”

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She concluded, “Hate seems to me to be the opposite of life; in soil that harsh, nothing can grow properly, if at all. I want to say: Be happy for women. Period. Especially be happy for high-achieving women. Like, it’s not that hard.”

Hathaway has spoken about this period in her life before, like in an interview she did with Jezebel in 2017 while promoting her film Colossal. Her interviewer, Rich Juzwiak, had been a writer on Gawker and other sites that particularly pilloried Hathaway, which they both acknowledged during their talk. When Juzwiak asked if the criticism had changed her, Hathaway said it definitely made her consider everything she said in interviews.

“How the world feels about me has nothing to do with me,” she continued. “How other people treat me has nothing to do with me. But if anything that anybody said resonated with me as something I’d like to work on for myself, I took it in like that. And to that extent, I feel like I got to shortcut a lot of my growth. To that extent, even though I wouldn’t have chosen to go through it, I still found a way to be grateful to it.”