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Anne Hathaway Shares Surprising Reason For Taking Harry Styles 'Fan Fiction' Movie Role

Anne Hathaway had a surprisingly personal reason for appearing in her latest movie, “The Idea of You.”

The Oscar winner became visibly emotional at the film’s South by Southwest (SXSW) premiere on Saturday as she and co-star Nicholas Galitzine were greeted with rapturous applause when they appeared for a post-screening Q&A.

“You have no idea the gift that you’ve just given us with your responsiveness, by being so connected to every little nuance in this,” Hathaway said, as seen in a video clip shared by Variety. “I will never forget this screening. Thank you so much.”

She went on to note: “For some reason, we talk about coming-of-age stories as being something that happens to you in the earliest part of your life, and I don’t know about you, but I feel like I keep blooming. So when Cathy [Schulman] and Gabrielle [Union] so generously offered me the part, I was thrilled to say yes.”

Due out May 2 on Amazon Prime Video, “The Idea of You” follows a divorced mom, Solène (played by Hathaway), who embarks on a surprise romance with a dreamy pop star, Hayes Campbell (Galitzine), after an unexpected meet cute at the Coachella Music Festival.

The romantic comedy is based on Robinne Lee’s 2017 novel of the same name. Speaking to Vogue about three years after the book’s release, Lee acknowledged that Harry Styles was an “initial muse” for the character of Hayes, but said that anyone looking for real-life parallels to the protagonists was missing the point.

“It was supposed to be a story about a woman approaching 40 and reclaiming her sexuality and rediscovering herself, just at the point that society traditionally writes women off as desirable and viable and whole,” the author said.

Of course, that didn’t stop “The Idea of You” from being broadly deemed “Harry Styles fan fiction,” which may explain why Hathaway’s participation in the film raised a fair share of eyebrows.

Nicholas Galitzine and Anne Hathaway in
Nicholas Galitzine and Anne Hathaway in "The Idea of You." Courtesy of Prime

“How do you think they pitched this movie plot to Anne Hathaway for her to accept this role???” one person wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

Added another: “First bad Anne Hathaway movie no way.”

Some of those doubts have already been dashed by early reviews of “The Idea of You,” which have been mostly positive.

“The adaptation of Robinne Lee’s book runs with the power of its leads and lets them sizzle,” The Wrap’s Alejandra Martinez wrote, while IndieWire’s Rafael Motamayor praised it for offering “poignant commentary in a fresh take on the rom-com genre.”

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