Friday, November 12, 2010

Happy Birthday Anne (Hathaway)!



The White Queen

With Mom & Dad


Happy birthday wishes go out today for one of my favorite actresses, and the very first actress mentioned on this site back in February of 2009, Ms Anne Hathaway!
No, I'm not talking about Bill Shakespeare's wife! I'm talking about the beautiful young actress who starred in those Princess Diaries movies (she and I are connected in some metaphysical way that I can't quite figure out yet due to these two films, as I happen to be the author of two books whose title also end with a variant of the word "Diaries." I'd ask her to marry me if she were a couple of years younger).
Anne Jacqueline Hathaway was born at 6:00AM my time here on the Pacific Coast (not 5:59AM or 6:01AM, but 6:00AM damn it!), in Brooklyn, which I'm told is somewhere in New York. Her dad, Gerard, a lawyer, and her mom, Kate, an actress and singer, moved her to New Jersey when she was six (Anne's grandfather, Joe McCauley, was one of Philadelphia's most popular radio personalities, and had the second all night radio program in the United States "The Dawn Patrol" (1942), which people like Frank Sinatra called into when he was in town. Frank Sinatra was a singer who was very popular back then).
Perhaps she knew my lovely case manager, Erin, who lived in New Jersey as well and are of similar age. Maybe!
Anne says "I'm very aware of my own background. I'm Irish, French and then a little bit of everything else thrown in, ranging from German to native American. We're talking about tiny drops of blood.''
Obviously a show off, she entered the first grade at Wyoming Elementary School in Millburn New Jersey while she was technically still a kindergartner. Rather than wanting to become a ballerina like so many little girls, Anne, being raised as a Catholic, quite refreshingly wished to become a nun. At the age of fifteen however, she changed her mind when she learned her brother Michael was gay, and could not reconcile the Church's stance toward homosexuals and wanting her brother to be happy in life.
So considering her grand-dad's and mom's background show business was definitely in little Anne's blood. But rather than go to a hospital to get rid of it she pursued acting.
On stage at first, which she says she prefers to the film roles that would later make her famous.
She won a Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Award nomination for Best Performance by a High School Actress for her performance as Winnifred in "Once Upon a Mattress," which sounds like a pretty racy play for high school if you ask me.
Later she would become an English major at Vassar, in the city of Poughkeepsie, New York, which of course Gene Hackman made famous in the film, "The French Connection." She went on to the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University, and was the first teenager admitted into the Barrow Group Theater Company's acting program.
In 1998 and 1999 she appeared at Carnegie Hall with the All-Eastern U.S. High School Honors Chorus. She's a soprano (which means she can hit those really high notes. She's really a wonderful singer. Here is her rendition of Queen's "Somebody to Love" ). Three days after her 1999 performance, when she was just 16, she was cast in the short-lived Fox television series "Get Real" ( a Fox show, it ran from September 1999 to April 2000, with 20 episodes aired).
A few years later Anne won her first part in a movie, 2001's, "The Other Side of Heaven," which was filmed in New Zealand. Before heading out to Peter Jackson country however, during a flight layover she auditioned for a role that would become her breakthrough performance, a Gary Marshall film called, "The Princess Diaries."
She won that part after just that one audition, the director saying he loved her because she fell off a chair while auditioning, which Marshall thought reflected the character, Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo, perfectly.
Listen: Anne went to New Zealand, filmed "The Other Side of Heaven," then went back to Disneyland to film "The Princess Diaries." "The Princess Diaries," was released before "The Other Side of Heaven," because everybody thought she had done such a great job in Diaries, and the producers of Heaven wanted to capitalize on Diaries, and Anne's success.
They were right! Anne and "The Princess Diaries," were a success (costing $26 million to produce, and making $165,335,153 worldwide), but "The Other Side of Heaven," still didn't do very well, making just $4,720,371, with mostly negative reviews.
But Anne's career was running hot, she continued to appear in family oriented films over the next three years ("Nicholas Nickleby," Ella Enchanted," and "The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement," in which Anne's mother appeared).
I've seen almost exactly none of those movies. As a matter of fact I saw "The Princess Diaries," for the first time just a couple of weeks ago, mainly because I tend to shy away from family oriented films. I've seen a whole bunch of her films before "The Princess Diaries," though.
Like "Brokeback Mountain," a decidedly non-family oriented film, the second film in which Anne appeared topless (Celebrity Sleuth states Anne's bust size as 36B. I have no way to independently verify this... damn it!), and for which she was nominated for a Screen Actor's Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture.
I think I fell in love with her though after seeing "The Devil Wears Prada," which is odd really, because that is not typically the type of movie I tend to watch either.
But she was so good! And so freaking beautiful... uniquely beautiful... for a girl. Let me reiterate from a previous post: "Men are bizarre creatures and react viscerally to the physicality and appearance of the opposite sex. Women know this and take advantage of our helplessness." So it's not really my fault, falling in love with her I mean. It couldn't be helped.
Hey! Guess who's picture adorns the second post of this blog, way back in February of last year. I'll give you a hint, her initials are A.H., and she went to school in Poughkeepsie. Don't believe me? You can see for yourself right here:
That post concerned the Academy Awards of 2009, celebrating the films of 2008, of which Anne was nominated for Best Actress for her marvelous performance in "Rachel Getting Married." I wrote this about Anne: "I have to admit I was rooting for Anne Hathaway, just because she is so pretty. And talented. I'm going to watch "Rachel Getting Married," tonight just to make sure she should have won. And for a girl who was 11 years old when he died, she does a mean Nixon impression. Annie, you can victory sign me any day."
Hey again. I was young and impressionable at the time and can hardly be held responsible for my youthful exuberance and admiration.
Still, she can victory sign me any day! (what does that mean you may ask. To tell you the truth I've forgotten myself... but it sounds good)
Anyway, I've since seen Anne in "Get Smart," the film version of one of my very favorite television shows, "Bride Wars," and as the ethereal White Queen, in Tim Burton's "Alice in Wonderland."
I could go on and on about the lovely, and exceptionally talented Anne Hathaway. But the most important thing we must keep freshly in mind, dear readers, is that today is her 28th birthday (Twenty freaking eight! I can't even remember what I was doing when I was twenty eight, but I'm sure it involved intoxicating substances... almost sure).
Anyway, all of us here at Joyce's Take wish Anne continued success in her life and career, and anything else she happens to be involved with, good health for herself, family, and friends, and a very happy birthday!
Happy Birthday Anne!

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