How the Haters Helped Prepare Anne Hathaway to Be an Amazing Mom

Nobody in recent memory in Hollywood took more crap than she did for no apparent reason—but that onslaught only made her stronger

By Natalie Finn Apr 08, 2016 1:18 AMTags
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Aside from the fact that Anne Hathaway couldn't wait to start a family and is going to be a loving parent, there are a few other reasons as to why she couldn't be more prepared for motherhood.

To put it bluntly, there may be no one in Hollywood who's been put through more crap for no real reason than Hathaway—and the experience of having the greatest year of her career juxtaposed with being the subject of many a damning think piece had to have stiffened that spine of hers into a permanently unbreakable position.

And that can only help a woman navigate the roller-coaster journey that is motherhood.

As E! News was first to report, Hathaway and husband Adam Shulman welcomed their first child together, son Jonathan Rosebanks Shulman, on March 24 in L.A., so we know that the proud parents are set adrift on cloud nine at the moment. And we can already picture Hathaway being an awesome, hands-on mom who won't stand idly by if her son is ever feeling less than loved, confident or special.

Because she'll know from experience that there's no point in paying too much attention to what other people think.

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We've all heard a parent rue the day or insist that they don't want us making the same mistakes they did. Usually it's annoying, but eventually we get where they're coming from.

Really, what better way to make the most of one's life experience than to turn anything unpleasant around into a positive life lesson for a little one?

First of all, she's going to kick ass at giving relationship advice. Before falling head over heels with her eventual husband, Hathaway was infamously involved with an Italian real estate investor who ended up serving prison time for fraudulent business practices. So Hathaway now knows the difference between the frogs and the princes out there, and we're thinking a parent's willingness to let their kid make his or her own mistakes will only extend so far in her case.

Which is fine, because Mom is always right about these things (even if it takes a few years to realize it).

Moreover, to Glamour she also acknowledged that her skin historically tended to be on the thin side.

"I know it makes me sound weak, but rather than make myself happy and wear the silly hat and say, 'Oh, I don't care,' I actually really don't feel like getting made fun of," the actress said. "So I put on something boring and navy and go out and try to disappear."

Hathaway was describing issues that more people go through than not, at least at some point in life. And those like Hathaway who are obviously extremely self-aware, and who have experienced such insecurities, or irrational fear in general, often give the best advice—because they know they're being irrational, can relate and can confidently tell someone (such as their own child) to try not to worry and enjoy being himself.

Who else can picture Anne Hathaway impressing upon her children to love themselves exactly as they are? Exactly.

But the "oh, f--k it" embrace of who she is didn't come without a fight.

For entirely intangible reasons, Hathaway—beloved in The Princess Diaries, applauded in The Devil Wears Prada and appreciated for her commitment in films like Brokeback Mountain and Rachel Getting Married—was targeted by the authenticity police in 2013 during the time she was also scoring accolades right and left for her heartbreaking performance in Les Misérables.

So much so that by the time she won the Oscar (at least the Academy wasn't hating on her) for Best Supporting Actress, every word out of her mouth was being picked apart as too saccharine, too flowery, too calculated—or even too earnest.

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After nearly disappearing for the remainder of the year after awards season, Hathaway told The Huffington Post in January 2014 that her absence was indeed intentional.

"My impression is that people needed a break from me," she said.

Ultimately, the time "away" spent with her hubby and shooting the indie musical Song One and the Christopher Nolan blockbuster Interstellar did her good.


"This fame thing? F--ked me up for a really long time," Hathaway told Elle U.K. later in 2014. "I didn't know how to do it; I didn't know how to engage with it; it stressed me out. And people would say, 'You just have to be yourself,' and I was like, 'But I don't know who that is yet!'" 

And she was inexplicably punished for that, despite the fact that, seeing those words written out, it's hard to believe that more people couldn't relate in the moment.

But it all turned out in a way that was good for Hathaway—and is only going to be great for her offspring. (Once they reach the age when they're willing to listen to Mom, of course.)

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"I've realized that I don't need validation from anybody. At all," she also said in that interview. "I'm not sitting here now worrying, 'What do you think of me?' With all due respect, you seem like a lovely lady, but I don't need you, or anyone else, to like me. And that's so liberating. It's a big reveal, man."

With that sort of realization, especially one that came after such a public run-in with a merciless Internet, comes the wisdom that a mother best have at the ready on that inevitable day when her kid comes home from school and wonders how that other kid could say something so mean. 

When that day comes, maybe Mom will show him her Oscar and tell him a little story.