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“I’m trying to be more self-reliant and comfortable with who I am… I’m living the best way I can”

In our profile, as the Oscars buzz around her new film Dark Waters intensifies, we learn about Anne Hathaway’s journey to happiness, her quest for authenticity and how she no longer feels unworthy
PHOTOGRAPH ELIZABETH WEINBERG/THE NEW YORK TIMES/REDUX/EYEVINE

The chronic need to please that caused Anne Hathaway to wear a brightly cheerful – occasionally branded insincere – mask in an e ort to endear herself to others is a lasting legacy of her formative years in the spotlight. ‘I have a history of being shamed and humiliated, for a lot of di erent reasons,’ she says.

Her facade – coupled with the widely held media perception that she was trying too hard to ingratiate herself with the public – had the opposite e ect, creating a tribe of online ‘Hathahaters’. She recalls of that di.cult time: ‘I didn’t think I was good enough, so I pretended to be someone I wasn’t.’

Struggling to find the contentment and sense of wellbeing she might have expected following her success in The Devil Wears Prada in 2006 and Les Misérables, for which she won an Oscar in 2012, New Yorker Hathaway made a conscious e ort to ‘stop trying so hard’.

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