Since we’ve already freaked out about Anne Hathaway‘s Les Miserables diet, my favorite takeaway from her Allure cover shoot was the revelation that Anne was initially offered Katherine Heigl‘s starring role in Knocked Up back in 2007. Taking the part could have been a really lucrative move for her: It would’ve helped her continue the momentum of her comedy roles in The Princess Diaries and The Devil Wears Prada into patently adult territory. However, she couldn’t wrap her head around the explicit birth scene.
“I thought about that… Judd [Apatow] was right to include the shot. I didn’t disagree with the shot. My issue with it was that having not experienced motherhood myself, I didn’t know how I was gonna feel on the other side about giving birth.”
This is the time that I wish Anne were active on Twitter, because I’d love to hear more from her on this. Did she mean that an actress who hasn’t given birth in real life isn’t fit to reliably embody that experience on-screen? Or was she saying that she’d feel cheated if she faked it before actually going through childbirth?
Not to put words in her mouth, of course. It’s an interesting notion, however! Consider the most recent movie with lots of actresses sporting fake baby bumps, What to Expect When You’re Expecting. Of the four stars, only Jennifer Lopez has given birth, and ironically she played the mom adopting. (Elizabeth Banks just welcomed a child via surrogate, and she huffs and puffs her way through pregnancy in the movie in a performance that some likely found more satirical than convincing.)
Sure, it’s probably easier for actresses who’ve gone through something as monumental as childbirth to draw on those painful memories on a film set. But then again, Knocked Up never went for authenticity, though I do remember everyone in my theater shouting and cringing when the baby crowns. And Katherine Heigl did a pretty bang-up job in that sequence.
Really I’m just poking fun at what I find a fascinating quote; no judgment on Anne, since she was welcome to her decision. Though since she decided to go with the period dramas from 2007 onward, maybe she wishes she had been more amenable. In the Allure interview, she adds,
“And by the way, I could pop a kid out and think, Oh, well, I really should have done that movie.”
Not to worry, you can always rely on there being a funny fake childbirth scene in some upcoming rom-com.
Photo: Universal; Allure