• Tue, Feb 26 2013

The Rise Of Jennifer Lawrence And The Fall Of Anne Hathaway

Jennifer and AnneLet me tell you a tale. Once upon a time, Anne Hathaway and Jennifer Lawrence were enchanted by an evil witch’s spell that turned both of them into little tiny dots on a line graph. The graph was for the past twelve months, and it was very interesting, very interesting indeed, because it pointed out that these ladies, while both receiving an Academy Award this past Sunday, have had exactly opposite trajectories this year. One went up and the other went down…but I’ll let you decide who is who. They both came into 2012 pretty much exactly the same way — both on their way up, both with an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress under their belt (Anne for Rachel Getting Married in 2008 and Jennifer for Winter’s Bone in 2010), but no win. They were both media darlings, with highly anticipated franchise projects coming up. Anne was Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman in The Dark Knight Rises, and Jennifer was Katniss Everdeen in The Hunger Games. They were both widely heralded as the best parts of the movie…and it is here, with their Oscar-winning projects looming in the near future, that their fates begin to diverge.

To be clear, I didn’t always dislike Anne Hathaway. I loved The Princess Diaries, thought she was outstanding in Rachel Getting Married, and mentally thanked her profusely for making TDKR vaguely watchable. I thought she was a sweet, down-to-earth girl getting measurably more talented as she got more and more work and started getting taken more seriously. She was America’s sweetheart, the humble, blushing girl-next-door…and then, suddenly, she got hip to her own reputation. With the heady aroma of Oscar-buzz wafting off of Les Miserables in great clouds, Anne caught the scent and was off like a hound. All of a sudden you couldn’t pick up a magazine without there being a self-deprecating Anne Hathaway interview in it. At first it was charming; reading about how she thought she looked like her gay brother or how miserable her diet was for Les Mis when she had to look ‘simultaneously radiant and emaciated’.

“I had to be obsessive about it—the idea was to look near death. Looking back on the whole experience—and I don’t judge it in any way—it was definitely a little nuts. It was definitely a break with reality, but I think that’s who Fantine is anyway.”

And then after a while it was like she ran out of material or patience and had to start doing an imitation of the humble girl who couldn’t believe her luck. A stereotype of herself. Even before anyone saw Les Miserables, they were saying Anne was a shoo-in for the Oscar, and after they saw it, it was all over. But good luck getting Anne to admit she’d even heard the Oscar buzz or knew what they were or ever seen a movie or thought she was special. It was all blushing and batting of eyelashes over big starry eyes, ohgawshandgawlly, every interview and talk-show appearance and SNL hosting striking me as less genuine than the last. And sometime during the middle of all this, she got married to Adam Shulman, the love of her life. More on that later.

In Jennifer Lawrence land, things were slightly different. There was Oscar buzz for Silver Linings Playbook, but not as much, and it was clear that even though there’s no doubt she wanted to win, she wasn’t stressing herself out about how to behave. She routinely pointed out the amount of makeup she had on, admitted her own awkwardness, and thanked people genuinely when they congratulated her on her work. Where Anne was smooth and polished and carefully calibrated, Jennifer was rough and open and accessible. Plus, unlike Anne, she had a healthy body image and refused to starve herself for Hunger Games, saying:

“I don’t want little girls to be like, ‘Oh, I want to look like Katniss, so I’m going to skip dinner.’ That’s something that I was really conscious of during training, when you’re trying to get your body to look exactly right. I was trying to get my body to look fit and strong, not thin and underfed.”

Jennifer wasn’t careful about the way she portrayed herself, so even as criticism and backlash against Anne started piling up, all anyone could ever say about Jennifer was how refreshing her attitude was. Even as Anne’s posturing as ‘a normal girl’ became more and more grating, Jennifer actually was that normal girl, against all odds. She’d rather look normal in real life and weird onscreen than normal onscreen and emaciated in real life. And she had no problem sharing that information with anyone.

And then came awards season. It’s been rehashed in the media so many times lately that I’ll just put some of Anne’s acceptance speeches in here for you to peruse at your leisure. Suffice to say, she gets annoying. Really annoying. Annoying enough that I’m not the only asshole blogger calling her annoying anymore. In each, she breathlessly thanks the cast and crew for even allowing her in the room while the movie was shot, tearfully thanks her husband for being her rock who loved her when all others blah blah blah, expresses complete shock, and feigns humility. Every. Single. Time.

GOLDEN GLOBES. Oh and she’ll be back later when the film itself wins to take up more time before the producers can speak by thanking someone she forgot to thank during her own overly-long speech. Perfect.

CRITIC’S CHOICE

BACKSTAGE AT THE OSCARS

The backlash built up over the entire award season, culminating at the Oscars, where, in true, beautiful juxtaposition, Anne gushed that “I had a dream and it came true, and that can happen. And that’s wonderful. And that’s all I was saying is that it can and it did. Excuse me, that’s not articulate”…and Jennifer did something on accident that Anne would’ve done on purpose if it had occurred to her…she fell up the stairs. Case closed.

(Image: Apega / WENN.com)

Share This Post:
  • Cara

    She’s so annoying. I mean Anne Hathaway, btw. Not JLaw, never JLaw <3

    • Alexis Rhiannon

      NEVER.

    • Mia003

      Jennifer Lawerence is so desperately attention seeking annoying. She has no class and no respect for other people. She has a big head to match her big head. Her fake annoying smile, fake wardrobe malfunction, fake fall and annoying voice. I don’t know how people can say she is a good actor her facial expressions are little to none and her voice is so annoying to listen to. Some humbleness would not hurt her either. I can’t stand big headed bitches.

    • Carolina Cornejo

      i am just not down for her skinny girl shamming like she did not enjoy seeing herself thin in those over photoshoped dior ads

  • mse

    I’m actually genuinely worried that a real backlash will begin against JLaw soon. Like anytime. And I look at Anne Hathaway as a potential example and it completely turns me off from dissing her for her speeches or so-called pretentiousness or for anything in general.
    If the media decides to hate Jennifer there’s certainly enough material to work with.

    • jenley2013

      I think the backlash won’t happen anytime soon just because award season is over and she’s not gonna be in everybody’s faces for awhile, until the next movie promotion tour. I hope there will never be a backlash, but I am very aware to the fact people either LOVE or HATE Jen.

  • http://twitter.com/ALEXAKAYPR Alexa Kay

    i love j-law and i still can’t articulate the many reasons why i detest anne hathaway. however, the joy of reading this article was diminished by the numerous grammatical errors. COME ON, CRUSHABLE. you’re better than this.

  • zz1986

    To be fair, celebrating Jennifer Lawrence’s decision to mantain a healthy body image for the Hunger Games as opposed to Anne Hathaway losing a lot of weight for Les Mis is a a bit ridiculous. They played two different characters with wildly different extenuating circumstances. Katniss’ outdoorsy strength and athleticism shouldn’t have required any drastic measures on Lawrence’s part where weight loss is concerned. Fantine dies a toothless, shorn prostitute (probably from syphilis or tuberculosis) in mid 19th century France. Hathaway wasn’t supposed to look healthy. Just sayin…

    • Aggies08

      Did you even read The Hunger Games? Katniss was in very slum-like conditions in her District, as it was the poorest district. Yeah, it wasn’t France during the French Revolution, but as Suzanne Collins wrote about District 12 it was understood that it wasn’t good conditions, the people were very poor and probably malnourished. I think Jennifer Lawrence took the high road, though, understanding that her audience was pre-teen and teens, that they wouldn’t have found “art” in her looking malnourished and weak but they would have looked up to that. She would have gotten more praise over it like Anne Hathaway did it, but I think it says much more about her that she was so understanding of how kids would look up to her. Anne Hathaway starved herself and shaved her head knowing full and well she’d get the Oscar for it, plain and simple.

    • Mia003

      Well I don’t know what you are talking about she looks like a skinny stick now! After those photo were they showed her cottage cheese butt and said it look worse then Kim k’s now she has drop a lot of weight. She was already skinny to begin with even though she has a cottage cheese butt, but now she looks like a wafer herself.

    • Mia003

      How is Jennifer a good role model when all she does is talk crap about people, she has a big head and seems very cocky. She also has gotten very skinny recently. She sticks her middle finger up at the oscars and is always saying stupid sometimes mean stuff about fellow actresses and actors. She was also caught smoking pot recently and look how they treated Justin Beiber for doing that. She is in a kids movie about a kids book series and they act like it’s ok for her to smoke pot but not Justin Beiber?

    • Trish

      It’s not a kid’s book, it for teenagers. Please tell me you don’t honestly believe teenaged kids today only smoke joints when they see someone like Lawrence do it?!?!?

  • Annie

    Why are these two being pitted against each other? Anne Hathaway being unlikable has nothing to do with Jennifer Lawrence’s likability. They both were amazing in their respective roles and they deserve all the praise given. This is another example of female generated sexism. These two women won two of the biggest awards in their industry, so it’s our job to diminish that and resort to cattiness rather than be congratulatory and happy that last year was such a great year for women in movies? You’re better than this. We’re all should be better than this.

    • Uli

      Amen sister! I don’t see anyone talking about the narcissistic speech that Tarantino gave, which was about 100 times worse than Hathaway’s (she clearly was overwhelmed by the whole awards season, and what could be more normal than that???). Or what about Daniel Day Lewis? Won the Oscar three times – what a douche, right – how dare he still be all humble and overwhelmed during his speech, when it was soooooooooooo obvious he’d win! Or no, of course we won’t comment on that, because you see we don’t criticse men for being successful! That’s also why NO ONE talks about Hugh Jackman’s “gentleman” persona, which is just as much an act and a PR move as Hathaway’s self-deprecating “girl next door” number. God, this really irks me to no end, grrrrrrrr.

  • http://twitter.com/DrivelLady Laurie B. of U.D.
  • jenley2013

    So true. This award season made me fall in love with Jennifer whenever I’d hear her talk and despise Anne even more whenever I’d hear her talk (and I’m NOT comparing the two).
    Before January this year, I have seen 2 JLaw movies (X-Men and THG). Didn’t notice her in X-Men and thought she was good in THG.
    Loved Anne’s movies and seen a bunch, really liked her.
    Seen SLP, became obsessed, went online and started shipping Jennifer (Bradley also) mainly BECAUSE of her interviews and speeches. With Anne it was the total opposite! I now refuse to see Les Mis because I’m so anti-her!
    Sorry if that came out a bit harsh.

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