Anne Hathaway confessed to InStyle magazine this week that she “cries all the time.” Could this be due to the relentless onslaught of criticism and negative press she received from the “Hathahaters” since the awards season in 2013? You remember, the online critics who rambled on about how “annoying” and “inauthentic” they found her to be? The polarizing star told the magazine, “For a very long time I felt I was being hunted, and it made me very unhappy.” Fortunately, these days she is moving forward with a more positive outlook. As she puts it: “In the past few years I’ve been working on changing the script inside my head. Life’s too short to be anyone but yourself.”

It’s wonderful to hear Anne is feeling more empowered; however, her words reveal that the criticism she was experiencing was also coming from within. This can be surprising when you consider Ms. Hathaway has had a career that any actor would envy. She’s played a variety of compelling roles, received many kudos for her performances in films like Rachel Getting Married and The Dark Knight Rises, she’s been described as a box office champion, and she’s won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Les Miserables. And Anne certainly has her share of vehemently supportive defenders. Still, she admitted to the magazine, “There was a stretch of my life when I wasn’t comfortable being myself. I didn’t think I was good enough. So I pretended to be someone I wasn’t.”

Currently, Hathaway certainly seems to be thriving in the spotlight as evidenced by her April cover of Miley Cyrus’ Wrecking Ball on Lip Sync Battle. She also has an upcoming release of The Intern in which she stars with Robert De Niro, and she will reprise the role of the White Queen in Alice Through the Looking Glass to be released in 2016.

But it should be noted that the acting business can be a bit daunting for actors who haven’t received the accolades Anne has–not to mention the paychecks she’s received. This speaks to the raw emotion and vulnerability every actor faces regardless of stature or success. Actors must face the swarm of competition head on, plow through tough auditions, routinely deal with criticism and rejection; there might be times they have to navigate the emotional terrain of coming in second to landing a role of a lifetime; many actors express the pressure they feel when inhabiting differing personas and feeling the pain of each of their characters. These represent just a few of the challenges that come with being an actor … which begs the question: Is the craft of acting an inherently saddening field? And what does it say about struggling actors who are doing the same thing and not getting paid for it?

Do you, like Anne, find yourself crying easily? Along with all of the sheer joy that acting brings to your life, does it go hand-in-hand with tears? How much courage and chutzpah is required to keep moving forward as an actor?

 

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