The movie 'One Day'
may have your typical rom-com plot devices, but the story as a whole is anything but. Based on the bestselling book of the same name, 'One Day' starts with Dexter (Jim Sturgess
) and Emma (Anne Hathaway
), who meet on the last night of their college graduation. For the next twenty-plus years, the film drops in on them on the anniversary of their first meeting, as the viewer gets to explore how each person has changed their life for both the better, and worse.
Moviefone got a chance to sit down with Hathaway, where she talked about the big surprise of the movie (don't worry, there are no spoilers) revealed why men don't watch romantic comedies, discussed her love for all things '90s and even spoke (a little) about her upcoming role as Catwoman.
Did you read the book or the script first for 'One Day'?
What was your initial reaction?
You can't do that! You can't break that rule! you can't do this now! I actually went back a few pages because I thought that I must have made a mistake [but] no, they did that, and I obviously started sobbing. And my boyfriend was like, 'Are you ok?'
As soon as I finished it, I called up my people and was like 'get me to London, let me meet the director, I have got to do this.' And on the way, I read the book and fell even more in love.
These characters seem much more relatable than ones you get in your typical romantic comedy.
That's the other thing that I loved about it too, because, I am going to sound cynical, but I think part of the reason why a young man such as yourself probably doesn't like romantic films is because the people in it don't feel real. Girls don't have hair that glossy, boys don't drink light beer. It's nice to go to a movie where you feel like you could possibly hang out with those people, and you get so much more invested in their story.
It's also really nice to feel like the movie doesn't pander to you or talk down to you or ask you to stretch the boundaries of credulity. These are people who fall in love in real time, and while you love them to death, sometimes you just want to shake them. Sometimes you want to kick them.
I feel like this movie didn't set the unrealistic expectations other rom-coms do. It's a little darker, it's truer to life. Did that also factor into your decision to take the role?
Without meaning to, I have become the poster child for 'Happily Ever After,' and that's not where I live and that's not what I am interested in. I am quite happy to tell stories that imply otherwise, that life is just a bit more complex.
From a viewer perspective, do you enjoy watching the more fairy-tale-esque romantic comedies or do you like the more truer to life ones?
It depends who's in them. There are some actors that I can watch for days and I can watch them read the phonebook, but for me, a lot of it has to do with my personal relationship as a fan to the actor. But, no, I tend to like darker things with subtitles [laughs].
Since a chunk of this film takes place in the '90s, there are several nods to the decade itself -- at one point the Gin Blossoms are playing. What are some of your favorite '90s nostalgia moments of the decade? From music to fashion to movies.
Getting the 'Dookie' album by Green Day on my 12th birthday. Stealing my brother's 'Nevermind' album and having him steal it back -- and we did that for about three years, rather than just buying another one. Watching 'Pretty Woman' again and again and again. Begging my parents for Doc Martens. When I thought Baby Doll tees were a really good idea ... [whispers] They weren't. Berets ... I was obsessed. I would go to the drugstore and pick out different colors and just thought it was the coolest thing ever. I had Simple [shoes] I was in love with. And flannel ... I would wear my older brother's that was like 18 sizes to big. And not really caring, there wasn't much glamour and I thought that was kind of nice. I mean, don't get me wrong, I like dipping into that, but it was a whole 'nother world. Nowadays, you are expected to look like a supermodel when you go for coffee, it's ridiculous.
There's no grunge anymore
Yea, it's very sad. Or if it is, it's like, some major designer does grunge, it's like a holy cashmere sweater. Grunge was really fun, it had a really do-it-yourself quality to it.
Your character Emma works at divey Tex-Mex restaurant in the film. What's the worst job that you've ever had?
I am going to make you hate me, I have been acting since I was 13, so, let me think. I was an extra in a Burger King commercial, but I don't really think that counts because I was still acting, but I did have strep throat when I did it so I had like a fever of a 102...and it smelled of fried food all day and I got yelled at a lot because I wasn't following directions very well. But I haven't had that many bad jobs. I have had movies that were more fun than others, and I have had others that scrape the bottom of the barrel of dignity, but no, I have never really had grunt jobs.
At one point, your character ends up in the late 30s in the movie. I am curious to know how you approach playing someone in their late 30s when you yourself are in your late 20s.
I just kind of got obnoxious and went up to people and said 'OK, you're like 10 years older than me, what's it like?' And I just asked them what you focus on and how you hold yourself, which part of you grows faster when you eat a pizza and things like that. But the thing that was kind of nice about Emma was when I really got into playing her, I just kept being reminded of flowers opening and caterpillars turning into butterflies and things that bloom. For her, I knew where I wanted her to end up and then it was about dialing it backwards so that you could watch that transformation, and then without knowing it, you become a woman and you aren't quite able to put your finger on when that happened.
Apparently, when you get to your 30s, you become really comfortable with yourself, you just accept it and prioritize happiness and you decide to just go with it, and I just sort of put myself in the mindspace of what it would be like to be that, and it turns out it's kind of rad.
Now I know you can't talk about the 'Dark Knight Rises' storyline, however, can you at least tell us what sort of research you have done for the role of Catwoman?
There are a lot of comic books out there that will just focus on the mythology of Catwoman, so I bought as many of those as I could find.
Do you have a favorite comic from the period?
I've got to say, Catwoman and Batman's first meeting is very disappointing. They are on a ship, and Catwoman has been impersonating being an old woman and Batman tears off her disguise -- and she's known as the Cat [at the time], by the way, she's a Cat Burglar -- so she like jumps at him, and she's just like 'I will claw your eyes out' and Batman's response to her is 'Quiet or Papa spank?' I was like, thank God times have changed and Chris Nolan believes in equality of the sexes.
You know, there's a later one, because the Selina [Kyle] story has changed a lot, and ... it's the origin story of Selina and she's a Cat Burglar and she follows this guy into a museum because she wants to steal this piece, and she touches it and this guy is like 'You've defiled it with your female hands.' It [also] includes her training to become a fighter and she has to battle the guy who was a jerk to her in the beginning, and you get to meet her master who believed in her and who gave her a shot.
*Images courtesy of Focus Features and Warner Bros.