Through hate, Anne Hathaway learned to love.
The actress, 31, appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show Thursday, where she opened up about the backlash she suffered after winning Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in Les Misérables.
"For whatever reason—and it's a small group, trust me—[cyber bullies are] loud because I went through this," host Ellen DeGeneres told her guest sympathetically. "And voices that don't like you and say mean things really stick with you for some reason, more than voices that say, 'You're great!' So, when that was going on after the Oscars, which you should have been celebrating—you won an Oscar!—and then all the sudden...Explain how you accidentally Googled something and this is what you found."
Hathaway, a Hollywood veteran, said she "had gotten out of the habit of Googling myself because that's just a bad idea to ever do that." But in a rare instance, she said, "My friends and I had an idea for Funny or Die and we wanted to do something on celebrity pregnancy rumors, so we just Googled pregnancy rumors and the story came up. The title of it was 'Why Does Everyone Hate Anne Hathaway?'"
The audience gasped, to which she said, "It's really OK. It has a happy ending. Life continues."
Michael Rozman/Warner Bros
"Yes, but I know what that feels like and I think when people write things like that or say things like that it is cyber bullying," DeGeneres told Hathaway. "How did you deal with all that?"
"Well, I listened at first. I couldn't help it, you know? And you try to shut it off and I couldn't, and then I realized why I couldn't was I hadn't learned to love myself yet. I hadn't gotten there. And if you don't love yourself when someone else says horrible thing to you part of you is always going to believe them," she said. "So, then I was like, 'OK, I don't want to believe these people. I don't want to agree with them on any level. And I want to figure out who I am. I want to learn who I am. I don't want to feel like I'm fragile every time I leave the house because I'm so dependent on what other people think about me."
"So, I just took a step back, and as Matthew McConaughey, my co-star in Interstellar, would say, 'I just kept living.' And, it's been a really cool journey," Hathaway said. "I feel like I arrived in a place where maybe not every minute of every day, but way more than I used to, I have a tremendous amount of love and compassion for everyone else—and best of all I have it for myself, which I never enjoyed before."
DeGeneres then offered the actress more support, saying, "There's a great phrase: 'What you think of me is none of my business.' And there's nothing wrong with being fragile. I think it's a beautiful thing."
"I think I'm fragile. I'm extremely sensitive. I cry easily," the comedienne continued. But, DeGeneres continued, "I'm also a very strong woman and I also believe in myself, but you know, people get their feelings hurt. You can have all those things—you can be fragile, you can be sensitive, you can be strong. But it's hurtful, and people need to know there are other people on the other side of those things."