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Anne Hathaway Had To Do Something Truly Gross For One Of Her Auditions

It's refreshing that, in recent years, famous actresses have felt emboldened to speak up about upsetting, weird situations they've endured for the sake of the craft. Now, it feels as if well-known stars like Kirsten Dunst — who admitted she hated an on-set nickname given to her on the "Spider-Man" set — can finally say something about weird stuff they've put up with. The latest? Anne Hathaway says she had to make out with nearly a dozen men during a "chemistry test" for a movie, and was told, in the moment, that this was an exciting, fun thing for her to be doing.

In a revealing feature in V Magazine entitled "Anne Hathaway is Entering Mother Status," the Oscar-winning actress spoke to Derek Blasberg (whom she's known since college) and said that she put up with that exact situation early in her career. "Back in the 2000s—and this did happen to me—it was considered normal to ask an actor to make out with other actors to test for chemistry. Which is actually the worst way to do it," Hathaway said. 

Not only that, but she was informed that she should be pleased about the situation: "I was told, 'We have ten guys coming today and you're cast. Aren't you excited to make out with all of them?' And I thought, 'Is there something wrong with me?' because I wasn't excited. I thought it sounded gross."

Anne Hathaway didn't want to seem difficult, so she stayed quiet

So how did Anne Hathaway handle the insinuation that she should be "excited" to kiss ten guys in one afternoon for the sake of a "chemistry test?" She stayed quiet, unfortunately, because she feared being called "difficult." 

"And I was so young and terribly aware how easy it was to lose everything by being labeled 'difficult,' so I just pretended I was excited and got on with it," Hathaway said, before clarifying something: she doesn't think the situation was malicious or anything like that, but simply standard for the time. "It wasn't a power play, no one was trying to be awful or hurt me. It was just a very different time and now we know better."

These days, Hathaway is a producer as well as an actress. She earned her first producing credit on the 2016 romantic comedy "Song One" and has produced many of her own projects in subsequent years, including the strange drama "Colossal," "She Came to Me," "Mother's Instinct," and her current project "The Idea of You," the last of which co-stars Nicholas Galitzine ("Red, White & Royal Blue," "Bottoms"). So how did she and the film's creative team cast Galitzine in the project without any creepy chemistry tests?

Nicholas Galitzine ended up winning his role in The Idea of You thanks to a perfect song

As Anne Hathaway told Derek Blasberg, she and the movie's creative team — including director Michael Showalter, who co-wrote the film with actress and writer Jennifer Westfeldt — asked actors to pick a song that they thought fictional boyband heartthrob Hayes Campbell would like which would also make Hathaway's character, Soléne Marchand, feel like dancing. "I was sitting in a chair like we had come in from dinner or a walk or something, we pressed play, and we just started dancing together," Hathaway said.

Nicholas Galitzine immediately made an impression by picking a particularly evocative band — The Alabama Shakes — and Hathaway says she was struck by lead singer Brittany Howard's incredibly distinctive vocal stylings. "And it was just easy," Hathaway said, revealing that she started smiling at Howard's voice. "And he saw me smile, so he relaxed, and we just started dancing. Nobody was showing off. Nobody was trying to get the gig. We were just in a space dancing. I looked over and Michael Showalter, our director, was beaming. Spark!" 

Galitzine was ultimately cast as Hayes, the frontman of the popular band August Moon who unexpectedly falls hard for Soléne after meeting her at a fictional Coachella set, and it's clear from the trailers alone that the chemistry between Galitzine and Hathaway is easy, well-earned, and comes from a joyful and organic place.

Anne Hathaway has been choosing more subversive, interesting roles in recent years

Anne Hathaway earned an Academy Award for her performance as impoverished mother and struggling sex worker Fantine in Tom Hooper's 2012 adaptation of "Les Misérables," and after a period of time where she was disliked for being too "earnest" over her win, she's been making riskier and more interesting choices as an actor. Luckily for both Hathaway and her fans, those choices seem to be paying off well.

The actress really started having fun back in 2018, playing haughty, egotistical actress Daphne Kluger in Gary Ross' ensemble film "Ocean's 8" (which felt like Hathaway playing with her own public image), and in 2022, she delivered a truly heartfelt performance in the period drama "Armageddon Time." In "Eileen," an adaptation of Ottessa Moshfegh's psychosexual drama, Hathaway goes blonde and plays seductive and menacing in equal turns, facing off against an adoring yet frightened acolyte in Eileen herself (Thomasin McKenzie). "She Came to Me" casts Hathaway as a temptress again, opposite Peter Dinklage this time as he has an affair with her despite being happily married. Now, in "The Idea of You," Hathaway proves that women can play objects of desire well beyond their 20s — no weird chemistry tests required.

"The Idea of You" hits Prime Video on May 2.