Anne Hathaway is not wearing Prada. But doing press for Love and Other Drugs at the Waldorf-Astoria, the 28-year-old actress (and current Vogue covergirl) is still a vision of beauty and style. Even chasing after her dog Esme, who’s bounding around the room, she manages to look graceful—especially in a pair of ridiculously steep (and gorgeous) black pumps.
That balancing act has carried into her professional life, where “Annie,” as she introduces herself, has evolved from the royal ingénue in tween fluff like The Princess Diaries and Ella Enchanted into more nuanced roles that endeared her to gay fans: The Devil Wears Prada, Rachel Getting Married and Brokeback Mountain, where she played Jake Gyllenhaal’s forlorn wife, Lureen.
Directed by Edward Zwick (Legends of The Fall, About Last Night), Love and Other Drugs reunites Hathaway with Gyllenhaal—though the film could scarcely be more different from their 2005 Oscar contender. He plays a philandering pharmaceuticals rep who finds his match in Maggie (Hathaway), a free spirit who prefers casual sex to commitment (an attitude that should sound familiar to gay audiences).
The film is more graphic than most of her work but Hathaway didn’t sweat filming the sex scenes. “You get nervous doing it, sure. But I get more nervous doing an accent. If you have a problem with nudity you just have to find a way to soldier through. It’s called doing your job.” It couldn’t have hurt that her bedmate was one of the hottest guys working in Hollywood.
The film is set in 1996, when Hathaway was barely a teenager, but she remembers the era well. “[My character], Maggie, is the ’90s I remember. She was who I wanted to be when I grew up—ballsy, strong, angry.” She’s less nostalgic about other aspects of that era, though, like the misinformation and paranoia surrounding AIDS. “I was at that age where you’re just discovering your body and sex and stuff,” she recalls. “And I remember how deadly AIDS was seen as. I was so afraid of sex.”
Though work keeps her busy, Brooklyn-born Hathaway is still super close to her family—she had just lunched with her mom earlier in the day. When her older gay brother, Michael, saw the “It Gets Better” video Anne participated in, he texted her a digital “fist-bump.”
In fact, Hathaway has been vocal in her support of the gay community from a very young age. When Michael came out, Anne and her parents left the Catholic Church because of its anti-gay stance—“Why should I support an organization that has a limited view of my beloved brother?” she told GQ. And Hathaway has publicly chastised President Obama for inviting homophobic minister Rick Warren to give his inaugural blessing. “I don’t use the spotlight to talk about politics, but I have no problem talking about gay [causes] because they’re not political; they’re basic human rights,” Hathaway says sternly. “I was at the Empire State Pride Agenda dinner a few years ago,” she recalls. “And Margaret Cho put it perfectly. She said, ‘I can’t believe we’re still dealing with this shit!’” If a class act like Hathaway is cursing, you know she means business.
Love and Other Drugs opens nationwide on November 24. Visit LoveAndOtherDrugsTheMovie.com for more info.