Anne Hathaway Recalls a ‘Gross Chemistry Test’ Where She Had to Make Out With 10 Guys for an Audition

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Photo by Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency

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In a candid interview with V Magazine, Anne Hathaway reflected on the unconventional and often uncomfortable practices prevalent in the early stages of her acting career, including being asked to partake in on-screen chemistry tests that required her to kiss multiple male actors.

Hathaway, whose filmography from the 2000s includes notable titles like The Princess Diaries, Ella Enchanted, Brokeback Mountain, and The Devil Wears Prada, shared her personal discomfort with these auditions. She highlighted how, at the time, it was deemed a normal part of the casting process to evaluate chemistry through physical interactions, a concept she found to be misguided and disagreeable.

“‘We have 10 guys coming today and you’re cast,’” Hathaway detailed. “‘Aren’t you excited to make out with all of them?’ And I thought, ‘Is there something wrong with me?’ Because I wasn’t excited. I thought it sounded gross.”

Now, with a wealth of experience behind her and roles in front of the camera and as a producer, Hathaway looks back at those times with a critical eye. She is aware that many of these practices were rooted in a very different industry mindset, not designed to be harmful but nonetheless reflective of a culture that no longer aligns with current values and understanding of professional boundaries.

Versace FallWinter 2023 Fashion Show
American actress Anne Hathaway arrives at the Versace Fall/Winter 2023 Fashion Show held at the Pacific Design Center on March 9, 2023 in West Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, United States. (Photo by Xavier Collin/Image Press Agency)

Addressing her own reticence to speak out against these methods at the time, Hathaway spoke on the pressures young actors face, fearing the repercussions of being branded as “difficult.”

“I was so young and terribly aware how easy it was to lose everything by being labeled ‘difficult,’ so I just pretended I was excited and got on with it,” Hathaway said. “It wasn’t a power play, no one was trying to be awful or hurt me. It was just a very different time and now we know better.”

In addition to her illustrious acting career, Hathaway is continuing her trajectory in the industry with the romantic comedy The Idea of You. The film, which sees Hathaway both starring and taking on a production role, premiered on Prime Video on May 2 after an initial debut at the SXSW festival on March 16. Directed by Michael Showalter and featuring Nicholas Galitzine as co-star, The Idea of You represents a new chapter in Hathaway’s career, one where she brings her seasoned insight and advocacy for ethical practices to the forefront of her work.


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