For anyone who has seen Anne Hathaway act in a movie, or perhaps co-host an awards show, it's clear that she is a woman whose emotions run close to the surface. And considering the tools she's been given to express those emotions—clear brown eyes, luminous skin, and a face that curls easily into a smile—it's not hard to be seduced into feeling like you know what she's thinking at any given moment. It's a testament, though, to Hathaway's remarkable command of those tools that she has managed to parlay her early work playing earnest, endearingly clumsy girls thrust into modern-day fairy tale scenarios in films like The Princess Diaries (2001) and Ella Enchanted (2004) into the varied, complex career that she has now. Among other things, she has proven herself an adept character actress (as the emotionally tangled wife of a closeted cowboy played by Jake Gyllenhaal in Brokeback Mountain, 2005), a comedic whiz (as an aspiring journalist thrust into the world of fashion in The Devil Wears Prada, 2006), a dramatic powerhouse (as the drug-addicted, walking-disaster sister of the bride in Rachel Getting Married, 2008, a performance for which she received both Oscar and Golden Globe nominations), and a leading lady (reteaming with Gyllenhaal as a commitment-averse woman with early-onset Parkinson's in Love & Other Drugs, 2010)—not to mention the closest thing her generation has to a full-blown acting, singing, dancing, tear-jerking, joke-cracking, mass-appealing entertainer.
In One Day, the lovelorn new drama from An Education director Lone Scherfig (based on the 2009 novel of the same name by David Nicholls), Hathaway stars as a young working-class woman with high-minded aspirations (viz., teaching, writing, changing the world) who, after a night of celebrating her graduation from university, wakes up in her single bed alongside a wealthy caballero (Jim Sturgess) with an entirely different set of priorities (viz., drinking, traveling, drugs). They spend that day together and strike up an unlikely friendship before he sets off for a post-grad jaunt around the globe and she nabs a waitressing job. From there, the narrative charts the myriad ways their lives intersect over the ensuing two decades as their feelings evolve and change, drawing them toward one another even as they are driven apart.
Chelsea Handler recently caught up with the 28-year-old Hathaway, who was in Positano, Italy, enjoying a brief vacation with her boyfriend, Adam Shulman. This followed a whirlwind month in which she served as master of ceremonies at the White Fairy Tale Love Ball at Valentino's estate, Chateau de Wideville, during couture week in Paris, performed her duties as a member of the wedding party at a friend's nuptials in Barcelona, and wrapped the London portion of The Dark Night Rises, for which she risks life, limb, and toxoplasmosis to don a series of skin-tight costumes and play Batman's vixen-ish adversary, Catwoman, in the third and final installment of Christopher Nolan's re-booted Batman franchise.