Anne Hathaway says she had to kiss 10 men during ‘gross’ chemistry auditions

Anne Hathaway has reflected on how chemistry tests between actors have evolved over the course of her career, claiming that at one point in the 2000s she was expected to “make out” with a series of men who were all auditioning to star opposite her.

The Interstellar actor, 41, can currently be seen in the romantic comedy The Idea of You, which is about an age-gap relationship between a single mother and a boy band star.

The purpose of a chemistry read in the film industry is to determine whether two actors, typically the leads, have the instinctive connection necessary for the roles they are auditioning for.

Speaking to V Magazine, Hathaway recalled how awkward these types of auditions could be in her early years.

“Back in the 2000s – and this did happen to me – it was considered normal to ask an actor to make out with other actors to test for chemistry. Which is actually the worst way to do it,” she said.

“I was told, ‘We have 10 guys coming today and you’re cast. 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.

Anne Hathaway arrives for the 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards (AFP via Getty Images)
Anne Hathaway arrives for the 2024 Film Independent Spirit Awards (AFP via Getty Images)

“And 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. 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.”

Hathaway, who is also a producer on The Idea of You, contrasted those past experiences with the process of finding her new co-star Nicholas Galitzine.

“We asked each of the actors coming in to choose a song that they felt their character would love, that they would put on to get my character to dance, and then we’d do a short little improv,” recalled Hathaway.

“I was sitting in a chair like we had come in from dinner or a walk or something, we pressed play, and we just started dancing together.”

She added that Galitzine chose a song by rock group Alabama Shakes, who are fronted by singer Brittany Howard.

“And it was just easy. I heard Brittany’s voice and I just started smiling,” recalled Hathaway.

“And he saw me smile, so he relaxed, and we just started dancing. Nobody was showing off. Nobody was trying to get the gig. We were just in a space dancing. I looked over and Michael Showalter, our director, was beaming. Spark!”

Galitzine has previously shared his own memories of the pair’s chemistry test.

“Someone came up with this idea that the actors doing this chemistry test should bring a song that they wanted to use essentially to convince Soléne to get up and dance with him. And again, [for] someone like me, who is not a dancer, this was incredibly intimidating,” he said.

“But in all seriousness, I remember – these rooms for actors, they can be extremely intimidating at times and extremely unnatural in a lot of ways – but there was something almost spiritual that kind of happened there where I felt this immediate connection to Annie, and we had a simpatico and a shared sense of humour and it was just very easy.”