The daughter of a stage actress and an attorney, Anne Hathaway was born on November 12th, 1982 in Brooklyn, New York. She and her two brothers were raised in New Jersey, where she led a tomboyish childhood and broke many bones.
In high school, though, she fully embraced her love and affinity for singing and acting. She remains the only teen to ever be accepted in the prestigious Barrow Group, an acting workshop in New York. She performed at Carnegie Hall in 1998 with the All Eastern U.S. High School Honors Chorus. Three days later, she was cast in the TV series Get Real, and her career was off and rolling.
Though short-lived, the family comedy-drama Get Real won a legion of committed fans, especially for Hathaway's character "Meghan Green." The young cast was nominated for a Young Star Artist Award (ensemble). Despite the minor successes, though, the show was cancelled after one season. Hathaway simply shrugged and got on with her life, enrolling at Vassar College.
But acting remained an important part of her life. She filmed her first movie, The Other Side of Heaven, in 2000. In it she played "Jean Sabin," the love interest of a conflicted member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints. The role didn't propel her into the spotlight, but it did give her valuable experience in film, which, in turn, probably helped her win her next role.
During her audition for 2001's The Princess Diaries, Anne won the lead role, in part, by accidentally falling off her chair. Since the role demanded a klutsy-yet-charming lead actress, Anne's handling of the mishap convinced director Garry Marshall to hire her on the spot. She filmed in England with legend Julie Andrews and promoted the film all over Europe and North America. The role brought her a lot of mainstream attention and earned her nominations for a Teen Choice Award and an MTV Movie Award.
stage, screen, studies, star
In 2002, Hathaway took part in a stage production of Carnival put on by the esteemed company City Center Encore! She won the prestigious Clarence Derwent Award for her performance, confirming her stage credibility. Meanwhile, she appeared in a solid film adaptation of Charles Dickens' Nicholas Nickleby.
Hathaway began appearing in less comedic-oriented films after The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement. She said that "anybody who was a role model for children needs a reprieve", although she also noted that "it's lovely to think that my audience is growing up with me", a reference to her previous status as a children's actress. She voiced a version of Little Red Riding Hood in Hoodwinked (2005), which received generally mixed reviews. That same year, Hathaway was cast in the mature-rated Havoc (2005), in which she played a spoiled socialite. In a surprise move, Hathaway was featured in several nude and sexual scenes throughout the film . She also appeared in the drama Brokeback Mountain (2005), opposite Heath Ledger and Jake Gyllenhaal, appearing nude in the film as well. Havoc was not released in theatres in the United States (but was later released in other countries) because of its weak critical reception, but Brokeback Mountain won rave reviews for its depiction of a homosexual relationship in the 1960s, and received several Academy Award nominations, including "Best Picture". Hathaway asserted that its content was more important than its award count.
In an interview with Us Weekly, Hathway spoke about her weight loss for the film. “I basically stuck with fruit, vegetables and fish (to slim down for the movie). I wouldn’t recommend that. Emily Blunt and I would clutch at each other and cry because we were so hungry.”
Hathaway was initially cast in the 2007 comedy Knocked Up but dropped out before filming began. Writer/director Judd Apatow stated in a May 2007 issue of The New York Times Magazine that Hathaway dropped out "because she didn't want to allow us to use real footage of a woman giving birth to create the illusion that she is giving birth." Katherine Heigl replaced Hathaway. In an August 2007 interview with Marie Claire magazine, Hathaway commented on an unnamed film "I turned [it] down ... because it was going to show a vagina -- not mine, but somebody else's. And I didn't believe that it was actually necessary to the story."
Hathaway was then seen in Becoming Jane, in which she stars as English writer Jane Austen, released in mid 2007. She will also star as Agent 99 in the screen adaptation of the TV series Get Smart, which will premiere in 2008, and has recently signed onto the Hoodwinked sequel, Hood vs. Evil.