Love her or hate her, Anne Hathaway doesn't need anyone's approval.
Speaking candidly about her life in the spotlight, the Academy Award winner tells InStyle she's more at peace than ever before. "For a very long time I felt I was being hunted, and it made me very unhappy. But in the past few years I've been working on changing the script inside my head," the Intern star, 32, says in the September issue. "Life's too short to be anyone but yourself. Let the chips fall where they may."
Lest you think Hathaway is being dramatic, think again. In 2012, BuzzFeed published an article titled "Why Do People Hate Anne Hathaway?" In 2013, The New York Times published an article titled "What Is Anne Hathaway Doing Wrong?" And once again, in 2014, CNN asked its readers, "Do We Still Hate Anne Hathaway?"
That level of scrutiny would be difficult for anyone to endure.
Hathaway, however, has developed a thick skin.
"You and I both know there is a certain type of media that trades on desperation and will paint someone with that filter if it will make them money, whether the story is true or not," she says of being on the receiving end of undue criticism. Somehow, she takes it in stride. "That [New York Times story] was written by a man. Among the women I've worked with and met in my industry, I feel supported."
In The Intern, Hathaway plays the founder and CEO of a fashion based e-commerce company. She signs off on a community outreach program that hires a senior, played by Robert De Niro, to be her intern. Because of her position, it's hard for her character to make friends. "I felt strongly that my character should cry at work. I cry all the time," Hathaway says. "Granted, I'm an actress, so I kind of get a pass, but what's the big deal if you cry and then get yourself together and move on?"
The actress draws parallels between herself and onscreen alter ego.
In fact, Hathaway admits her public persona has been polarizing at times—and she played a big part in creating it, too. "There was a stretch of my life when I wasn't comfortable being myself. I didn't think I was good enough. So I pretended to be someone I wasn't," she says of playing a movie star version of herself. "To be a person in the spotlight, I pretended to be someone who could be in the spotlight."
Not anymore, she says. "I'm so over that now," Hathaway tells InStyle. "I just try to be my best self all the time, with some notable late-night lapses."