Director Tom Hooper's Les Miserables may have been a box office hit, but the general reception in the years since has been mixed at best. Many accused the film of being melodrama with an exhausting, repetitive lyrics sheet. However, there was one spot that everyone seemed to agree upon: Anne Hathaway. While she is predominantly absent from the musical epic, her early scenes resonated with audiences and featured the film's most popular song: "I Dreamed a Dream." With a close-up on her face as she sang of her failures, there were predictions later validated that she would win the Oscar. However, there is one person who is a little regretful of the Oscar win: Hathaway herself. In a recent interview, she explained how she felt insincere when accepting the award that most had already given to her mentally.
While the tide has cooled, I still feel like I'm in the minority who likes Hathaway. She has always struck me as a charismatic actress who has been fun to watch grow from The Princess Diaries to Brokeback Mountain to, yes, Les Miserables. I'm even someone who didn't hate her Oscar hosting job. However, the rage that came out of the 2012 Oscar campaign for her was abysmal and disconcerting. The dubbed "Hathahaters" attacked her for being a phony who seemed to have every emotional cue staged. True, Hathaway did come from theater, but most took it as an annoyance.
Now there's a likely reason why it rubbed some people the wrong way. In a recent interview for The Guardian, she has stated that:
"I felt very uncomfortable. I kind of lost my mind doing that movie and it hadn’t come back yet. Then I had to stand up in front of people and feel something I don’t feel which is uncomplicated happiness. It’s an obvious thing, you win an Oscar and you’re supposed to be happy. I didn’t feel that way...I tried to pretend that I was happy and I got called out on it, big time. That’s the truth and that’s what happened. It sucks. But what you learn from it is that you only feel like you can die from embarrassment, you don’t actually die."For those needing a refresher of her Oscar acceptance speech, here's the video (note: the video is unable to be embedded here).
There are those moments that could read as phony. The opening line of "It came true." definitely rang a little false. Even then, I simply assumed that she had a prepared speech and was too nervous to break script. Most people who give Oscar acceptance speeches are honestly dull and unmemorable. Hathaway wasn't much different, even with the backlash that was being thrown at her at the time.
I do appreciate that she was honest about the speech. Considering the physical toll that the film likely took on her, it makes sense that Hathaway would say that she lost her mind. It takes a lot to be dedicated to a roll that is mostly a tragic, beaten down figure. I think that it benefits her performance greatly. However, I do think that she handled the awards season well given this information. It's sometimes hard to recover from method acting of that caliber, and it makes sense why Hathaway lowered her cinematic output for the next few years, reducing herself to mostly cameos. I do hope that she's better now and I hope to see her back in the Oscars circle sooner than later, as long as she's well enough to handle it.