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Anne Hathaway Recalls Uncomfortable Question From Press In ‘Eileen’ Q&A

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📷 FELIPE RAMALES/SPLASH NEWS/UNCRAZED COMPOSITE

Anne Hathaway has proven herself to be a commanding performer over the years, yet there was a time when a single question from the press could leave her flustered.

As she basks in the acclaim for her latest film Eileen, in which she plays a psychologist who becomes embroiled with a prison secretary, Hathaway has remembered an incident from her past that particularly impacted her. This moment helped her to connect with the narrative of Eileen, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on Saturday.

During a Q&A session following the screening, Hathaway shared her uncomfortable anecdote. She prefaced her story by apologising if it became “an annoying headline.” She went on to explain that she remembered one of the first questions she was ever asked as an actress during press interviews was “Are you a good girl or a bad girl?”

“I was 16,” she added for emphasis. “And my 16-year-old self wanted to respond with this film.”

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Author Ottessa Moshfegh adapted her own novel for the screen, working alongside Luke Goebel, ensuring its accuracy to the source material. The film is directed by William Oldroyd, who previously directed Florence Pugh in 2016’s Lady Macbeth. It was Oldroyd‘s work on this film that convinced Hathaway to sign on to Eileen. She praised it as an “extraordinary work” and felt Oldroyd could be trusted to tell complicated stories, especially those about women, which meant a great deal to her.

Oldroyd said he was drawn to the book for adaptation because he felt its tone and voice, which he described as “dark, strangely funny, weird,” would lend itself well to the transition to the screen.

Currently without distribution, Eileen is hoping to gain the support of audiences and studio executives after its Sundance screening.

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