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Coming Clean: Rachel Getting Married

The ever-likable Anne Hathaway talks about taking on the role of a lifetime, ex-junkie Kym.
RENT: Wedding Movies

After the Wedding


An Oscar-nominated Danish film from Susanne Bier, this film is a particular inspiration for Rachel.

Jump Tomorrow


Like Rachel, this charmer features TV on the Radio's Tunde Adebimpe as a nervous groom-to-be. This sweet multi-cultural screwball comedy makes road trips and arranged marriages fresh.


A Wedding


Robert Altman uses his trademark overlapping dialogue and plot strands to follow the inherent drama of the wedding day.


Rachel Getting Married started with a vision in first-time screenwriter Jenny Lumet's head—a bride to be standing in her chamber, looking into a mirror, and her tempestuous black sheep sister standing next to her, staring out at the world with kohl-rimmed eyes. What then developed was a moving, daring screenplay that flouts traditional storytelling rules, following ex-junkie Kym (Anne Hathaway), a young woman leaving rehab in order to attend her sister Rachel's (Rosemary DeWitt, Mad Men) weekend wedding in Connecticut. As directed by Jonathan Demme, Rachel Getting Married is deeply touching and deeply humane. He takes a loose, documentary/Dogme-like approach to Lumet's true-to-life script, and the result is a beautiful film that feels like spying on a family that you already know.


Hathaway is outstanding as Kym—biting and sarcastic, she has a world of pain behind her junkie armor, and she's the X factor in this vision of upper-crust multi-culti bohemianism. In a recent roundtable interview with reporters, she limits her time (as she's hosting Saturday Night Live this week), but she's remarkably frank about what drew her to this role.


She strides into the room wearing fantastic, nervy boots. They are serious boots. The boots nearly outstrip her star power: sparkly and sequined, with
complicated strips of leather and plastic heels that reach up to heaven. "I feel like if Kym had a press conference, she'd wear these boots," she says, smiling widely.


Were you worried about Kym's likability?

Anne Hathaway:
I didn't care. I realized that it wasn't my job to make people like Kym. It was my job to make Kym understandable.


How did you feel about Kym?

I love her. She's a personal hero of mine—she's not a hero on the level of a Hercules—


Or Scarlett O'Hara—


Well, that's debatable. [Brightens.] Or Melanie from Gone with the Wind. She's not a hero on that level, but at the same time, you look at the film and what can be seen as selfish and narcissistic and indulgent and all these terrible choices that she makes, sure, they are. But when you look what Kym is avoiding doing, the path that she is not on... From my perspective, when Kym crashed the car, she had two choices, she could've gone home and continued fighting with her family, or she could've gone to her dealer's house. She made a third choice. I accept her and love her and really respect her struggle.


Rachel Getting MarriedThe other characters weren't perfect, either.

Everyone has problems, but everyone knows Kym's.


What was your reaction to the script?


I loved Kym from her first line. I thought the conflict was so fine. Here's a girl fighting for her place in her family, while dealing with maintaining her sobriety. And she has a family there who obviously wants her to remain sober but isn't taking the time to understand her sobriety, and has all of their issues at the same time, at this particular junction in time. All everyone wants her to do is pretend that she's not herself, but if she's not herself, she's going to use again. That's insane conflict. You don't just come across that all the time.

You were Demme's first choice for this role. Can you talk about why he cast you?


Well, the story I heard from the mouth of, from the lips of, Jonathan Demme, he had seen The Princess Diaries with his kids, and he really liked my work in that and then we were at an awards show [The Golden Globes] on the red carpet. It was my first major red carpet and I was just standing there, just happy or something, I was very happy to be there, no one knew who I was so I could just sit there and gawk at everybody. Apparently, as I was kind of checking people out, he was checking me out and thinking wow, that's a really radiant young lady. Who is she? And apparently, he was like wow, god, it'd be nice to work with her someday. Then this script happened and he thought of me. Probably the only director on the planet who would go from The Princess Diaries to Kym, but he did, and he made that connection. And I'm so happy he did. I was praying for it.


Click here for our interview with Rachel Getting Married director Jonathan Demme.


Rachel Getting Married opens in limited release on October 3.


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