Anne Hathaway has had to deal with an unusual amount of internet scorn – certainly more than average for someone in her position. In my brief encounters with her during interview situations, she’s always been funny, gracious (in that it’s obvious she’s putting a lot of thought into her answers as opposed to just giving canned answers) and shockingly self-aware. In 2014, she bluntly told me, “My impression is that people needed a break from me,” and I was completely unprepared to respond to that and didn’t really say much back and I’ve regretted that. When we dove into the themes of her new film, Colossal, we talked about all this again and, yes, she has very strong opinions about this subject.
In Nacho Vigalondo’s Colossal – opening on April 7, it’s a movie that has garnered extreme reactions from people who have seen it – Hathaway plays Gloria, a woman who has to return to her hometown after losing her job as (yes) an internet writer in New York City. When she returns home, she’s reunited with her childhood friend, Oscar (Jason Sudeikis), and things seem to go well at first, but then they start to spiral out of control as the movie goes to some dark, sinister places, one of them being that Gloria realizes she has the power to become a Godzilla-type monster that wrecks havoc in Japan. That’s led some to refer to Colossal as the “Anne Hathaway kaiju movie,” a sentence Hathaway absolutely adores.
I met Hathaway and Sudeikis in Midtown Manhattan at a brand spankin’ new hotel I didn’t even know existed until this moment. Ahead, Hathaway and Sudeikis discuss the themes of Colossal, which range from, yes, kaiju, to men’s rights activists, to the online hate directed at women.
(When I entered the room, I think it’s impossible for Sudeikis and myself to not discuss the SNL “Potato Chip” sketch, even though we have already covered that at length. But I did enjoy watching Sudeikis try to explain it to Hathaway.)
Jason Sudeikis: [To Hathaway] We’re from the same hometown. We have a mutual love for a thing that I was in, but very much a fan of. Did you ever see the sketch “Potato Chip” that Will Forte and I did?
Anne Hathaway: No
I want to hear you try to describe this.
Sudeikis: Yeah. It’s like a small version of this movie. I’ll send you the link. The sketch was like a Tennessee Williams play. When I read it, I was like, this is amazing. And we play it with no wink whatsoever. It’s just all melodrama.
Hathaway: And it’s about a potato chip?
Well, Jason plays a Colonel Sanders-type character who is at a job interview for NASA…
Hathaway: Was that like the 12:53 a.m. sketch?
Sudeikis: Oh yeah.
Before anyone had seen this movie at the Toronto Film Festival it was being described as the “Anne Hathaway Godzilla movie.”