"You're supposed to be happy," the 38-year-old celebrity told The Sun on Sunday for a piece published Jan. 23. "I didn't feel that way."
It was 2013 when Hathaway took home her first Academy Award in the Best Actress in a Supporting Role category for her portrayal of Fantine in the musical film Les Misérables. From the outside, the moment looked like a dream. During her acceptance speech, Hathaway, dressed in a pink Prada dress, looked down at her trophy and said, "It came true." But on the inside, the experience felt more like a nightmare.
"I felt wrong that I was standing there in a gown that cost more than some people are going to see in their lifetime and winning an award for portraying pain that still felt very much a part of our collective experience as human beings," Hathaway told the publication. "I tried to pretend that I was happy and I got called out on it, big time."
It was around this time that Hathaway came across an article called, "Why Does Everyone Hate Anne Hathaway?" As she scrolled through, she read hurtful comments, including ones calling her "boring" and "unlikeable," noted The Sun on Sunday.
Hathaway leaned on her husband Adam Shulman—whom she married in 2012 and shares two sons Jonathan, 4, and Jack, who she welcomed at the end of 2019—and her friends for support. Still, the experience wasn't easy. During a 2014 interview with Ellen DeGeneres, Hathaway admitted she initially listened to her haters.
"I couldn't help it," the actress said at the time. "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 says horrible things to you, part of you is always going to believe them."
So, Hathaway decided to step back and embark on a journey of self-discovery. "It's been a really cool journey," The Devil Wears Prada star told DeGeneres. "I feel like I arrived in a place where, you know, 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've never endured before."
Hathaway went on to star in a number of other films, including Interstellar, Ocean's Eight and her latest movie Locked Down. And while she doesn't like to look back at the past, she did open up to The Sun on Sunday about what she took away from her experience.
"I really don't want to dredge up the past, but I did have my monster out there, I did have the internet turn on me and hate me and it was like a whole big thing," she recalled. "And it was a really good thing for me personally. You can be incredibly empowered because of those things. So I guess what I'd say is bad s--t happens, don't fear it—just go with it, flow with it."