Anne Hathaway Recalls 'Gross' Requirement During Casting Process: 'Now We Know Better'

Anne Hathaway

Anne Hathaway is leading the charge on turning the casting process into a safer space—especially for young actors and actresses.

The Idea of You star and producer was able to leverage her experience and respect in the industry to ensure nobody ever has to go through the same "gross" experience she once did, opening up in a new interview with V Magazine about revamping the chemistry test of old.

Early in her career, "back in the 2000s," Hathaway said it was "normal" for an actor to have to "make out" with several other actors "to test for chemistry" before making final casting decisions.

“I was told, ‘We have ten guys coming today and you’re cast. Aren’t you excited to make out with all of them?’" she said. But that's "actually the worst way to do it," because the Princess Diaries star wasn't excited, and she was left wondering if there was "something wrong with [her]" because she didn't want to kiss a string of random people in quick succession while casting crews watched carefully.

"I thought it sounded gross," she said. But she "was so young and terribly aware how easy it was to lose everything by being labeled ‘difficult’" that she acted like she was excited "and got on with it."

To be clear, she doesn't see the requirement as "a power play" or any intentional attempt to "be awful or hurt [her]. It was just a very different time and now we know better.”

To change the process for The Idea of You, which follows a 40-year-old single mother as she enters a whirlwind romance with a 24-year-old boy band singer, they had the actors up for the role "choose a song that they felt their character would love, that they would put on to get [Hathaway's] character to dance, and then [they'd] do a short little improv."

Hathaway sat in a chair like they had just returned home from a date, pressed play, and the two danced. There was little pressure, and nobody tried to show off or compete for the role.

"We were just in a space dancing. I looked over and Michael Showalter, our director, was beaming. Spark!”

No voyeuristic makeout seshes required.

Next: Anne Hathaway Exudes Boss Babe Vibes in Head-Turning Denim Blazer Combo