Friday, 3 August 2012

The Naked Truth - Anne Hathaway

[The Naked Truth is a feature celebrating the lives and careers of the most talented women that pop culture has to offer. The fact they're also all incredibly gorgeous is just a great excuse to post as many stunning images of them as possible. You can see more of this sort of thing at Flixist's Some Like It Hot feature. CLICK THE IMAGES TO SEE THEM IN FULL SIZE.]

The Dark Knight Rises may have slightly disappointed as the conclusion to Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, but the casting of the multi-talented Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle was an unquestionable success. Following in such prestigious pawprints as Lee Meriwether, Eartha Kit (leave it, Pierce!), Julie Newmar, Adrienne Barbeau in the 1992 animated series, and Michelle Pfeiffer - Halle Berry's interpretation representing the runt of the litter - Hathaway hit a perfect balance between the steely but vulnerable Selina and her smoky, deadly alter-ego. Plus, she looked phenomenal in the catsuit. You'd better believe there's photographic evidence after the jump.

It's the latest step in a career which has seen Hathaway cement her place as one of the few actresses who can be both unashamedly sexy while still respected for her dramatic talents. Her versatility has stood her in good stead, continuing to employ her skills as a comic while bagging an Academy Award nomination for more serious work. She's flexible, fashionable and feline: Anne Hathaway, welcome to your Naked Truth...

Anne Jacqueline Hathaway was born November 12th, 1982 in Brooklyn, sharing a name with Will Shakespeare's missus. She was encouraged to pursue her dreams of acting by her mother, Kathleen McCauley, with her first stage experience coming at high school. Her performance in a school production of Once Upon A Mattress bagging her a Rising Star Award from the Paper Mill Playhouse, for whom she acted in stagings of Jane Eyre and Gigi.

During her teenage years, she studied at Vassar College and New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study, and has subsequently spoken fondly of her formative years in education. When not swatting as an English major with Women's Studies, she was the first teenager to be admitted into the acting program of the Barrow Group Theater Company.

Despite her obvious performing talents, her Catholic upbringing led to early plans to becoming a nun. Yes, you read that correctly. However, upon learning of her brother Michael's homosexuality, her intentions changed. In an interview with the Sunday Telegraph, she explained:
'I realised my older brother was gay, and I couldn't support a religion that didn't support my brother. Now I call myself a nondenominational Christian, because I haven't found the religion for me.'
Her change of mind was of benefit to straight people as well, because a convent certainly wouldn't have approved of photoshoots like these for GQ:

She has been a proud supporter of gay rights ever since, most passionately expressed when receiving an award at the HRC Los Angeles Dinner: 
There are people who have said that I’m being brave for being openly supportive of gay marriage, gay adoption, basically of gay rights but with all due respect I humbly dissent, I’m not being brave, I’m being a decent human being. And I don’t think I should receive an award for that or for merely stating what I believe to be true, that love is a human experience not a political statement, however, I acknowledge that sadly we live in a world where not everybody feels the same. My family and I will help the good fight continue until that long awaited moment arrives, when our rights are equal and when the political limits on love have been smashed.
Not content with becoming a champion of the gay community in her own right, she is also attached to starring in a biopic of Judy Garland called Get Happy.

Her film career took off in 2000 with the release of Disney children's movie, The Princess Diary. Having won the part in competition with five hundred other actresses, the movie's box-office exceeded all expectations, leading to a sequel in 2004. In the meantime, she featured in an adaptation of Charles Dickens' Nicolas Nickleby alongside English actor Jamie Bell, and another Disney pic, Ella Enchanted, in which she sang two songs. She was originally set to further prove her vocal talents  by starring in Joel Schumacher's Phantom Of The Opera, but was forced to pull out due to scheduling conflicts.

With Princess Diaries 2 completing her contractual obligations to Disney, focus shifted to more serious dramatic work. The 2005 movie Havoc instantly colonised Google searches for Anne Hathaway nude scenes, leading to a cynical reaction from critics. She redeemed herself later that year with a nuanced performance in the Oscar-winning drama Brokeback Mountain alongside Jake Gyllenhaal and the late Heath Ledger, a role she later identified as important to her and her belief in gay rights.

Despite receiving plaudits for her performance, it was a lead role in 2006's The Devil Wears Prada which cemented her status as a superstar in the making, managing to make an impression even while starring alongside her idol, Meryl Streep, and fellow Naked Truther, Emily Blunt, with whom she has been close friends ever since.

In 2008, Hathaway landed a prestigious modelling contract as the face of cosmetics behemoth LancĂ´me. Her film career was also on the rise, starring alongside Steve Carell in a movie update of the delightfully silly '60s television comedy, Get Smart, before getting her first Academy Award and Golden Globe nominations for her work in Jonathan Demme's drama, Rachel Got Married.

Hathaway's rising star led to the actress finding no shortage of work, but finding roles to match her talent became a problem. She took a supporting role in Tim Burton's 2010 adaptation of Lewis Carroll's Alice stories, and while the movie grossed over $1bn at the box-office, it was widely panned by critics and viewers. The Garry Marshall 'comedy' Valentine's Day was similarly lambasted, and while her appointment to host that year's Academy Awards ceremony looked set to be the highlight of her career, no-one had counted on a possibly crunk James Franco, combined with Bruce Villanche's ever dismal writing, making the event one of the most maligned in its long history.

Fortunately, 2011 got off to the best possible start with the announcement Hathaway had been cast in the final entry in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy. The Dark Knight Rises received positive reviews from critics and mixed reactions from viewers, but everyone agreed Hathaway knocked her role as Selina Kyle out of the park.

And the catsuit, mustn't forget the catsuit!

With her career back to the critical acclaim it deserves, Hathaway is finally set to prove her singing skills with a role in the upcoming adaptation of Les Misérables, sharing the screen with Hugh Jackman, Russell Crowe and Amanda Seyfried. She continues to be involved with The Creative Coalition and St Jude Children's Hospital charities.

So that's Anne Hathaway's Naked Truth. A multifaceted performer, as natural in comedy as drama, on stage or on screen, delivering song or speech, even if her Yorkshire accent is not something any decent human being should have to endure. (In other words, chart a wide course of 2011 rom-com One Day). With the right roles, and a pixie-cut Fantine in Les Mis could be it, expect her to add to her tally of Oscar nominations in the near future, with a statuette of her own sure to follow. Better that than hosting, anyway.


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