Love talk

Anne Hathaway on the Oscar buzz surrounding her new romantic comedy Love and Other Drugs

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Published: Sun 21 Nov 2010, 12:02 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 1:01 PM

ANNE HATHAWAY TEAMS up again in romantic comedy drama Love and Other Drugs with her Brokeback Mountain co-star Jake Gyllenhaal.

Her performance as Maggie, a sexually overt free spirit who meets a pharmaceutical sales rep and finds herself surprisingly falling in love, has garnered Oscar talk heading into the Hollywood awards season.

Hathaway, 28, talks about the film - based on the nonfiction book, Hard Sell: The Evolution of a Viagra Salesman - about topics ranging from pharmaceuticals to the movie’s main drug: love.

How much has changed in both yours and Jake’s lives since Brokeback Mountain?

Gosh, I think everything except for our families and friends have changed in our lives since then. We are basically the same people, just older and wiser.

Apparently in shooting this movie, you cried every day?

I did, I had a bit of a roller coaster experience on this movie...I was playing a character way out of my comfort zone. All that overt sexuality is just not me.

Your character has Parkinson’s disease, is emotionally complex and not a typically one-dimensional female romantic comedy character. Is that what appealed to you in the script?

The script that I was sent was a story about a man who was changed by the love of a woman. And the script that we wound up making is a story of two people who are changed by love. What I brought to it was probably a sense of entitlement, that my character ought to have emotional parity with Jake’s.

Were the sex scenes the most exposed you have been?

It’s weird to think of one scene being exposed more than the other, because it’s all the same bits. But I think they were the most involved scenes I have ever done, yes.

How difficult was it?

We didn’t want to lose the film’s energy in these scenes. And I think that is what resulted in the film. It’s less of nudity and more of intimacy.

How did you try to not overplay the Parkinson’s tremor?

I researched it. I spoke with people who have it at different stages of their diagnosis. About how I got the physical, I watched a lot of videos on YouTube.

There was always an awareness to keep it authentic . . . we had to be really specific about when her symptoms manifested themselves and when they didn’t.

How differently would you feel if you were sitting in the Oscar audience this year as a nominee, compared to last time?

It’s so sweet to ask me to go on that magic carpet ride! I believe I am one of about 37 actresses with Oscar buzz this year so I am actually going to keep my feet on the ground and say ‘I will wait and see what happens.’

The movie also touches on the pharmaceutical industry. Is it correct you once overcame depression when you were younger without drugs? What do you think about the industry?

That comment was taken out of context.

Okay, the depression or overcoming it without drugs?

I think we can avoid the whole topic.

No problem. So what about the drugs industry then?

I am wary of the industrialisation of medicine. I think, like most people, I am actually pretty frightened of it. I also think in a lot of cases, the drugs are needed.

So you don’t reach for the quick-fix headache pill?

I am not someone who reaches for the Advil easily.

Moving onto love, how does one know when one is past the initial “drug” high of love and onto the real thing?

Plato attempted to answer that question and people are still struggling for the proper answer. I don’t know anything. All I know is that it requires vigilance of oneself to be worthy of love. When you have found the right person and you are in a place to accept it, I think it is a lot of work to accept love.

I heard someone say the other day, some people are naturally brilliant at giving love and some people are naturally brilliant at receiving love...and if you are not brilliant at both, then that is part of the journey. And if it’s the right person, it will be someone who wants that transition to happen for you.”

You joked about your former relationship with Raffaello Follieri on Saturday Night Live. How important was it to keep a sense of humour about that experience?

I think sense of humour is a personal thing. It comes naturally to me. I am naturally self-deprecating. I will go to my favourite Indigo Girls quote: You got to laugh because you would cry your eyes out if you didn’t.

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