Anne Hathaway opens up about 'Zen and calm' Robert De Niro and 'The Intern'

By Michael Killingsworth

For an actor, things don’t get much better than being teamed with an Oscar winner like Robert De Niro. And Anne Hathaway can attest to that. The leading lady, herself an Academy Award winner for her work in the big-screen adaptation of Les Misérables, is over the moon about her onscreen partner in the new dramedy The Intern (in theatres Sept. 25). She even admits she may have been a little star struck, at least upon first meeting the 72-year-old. “Once I could get over that I couldn’t talk around him for the first few weeks – and once I calmed down about that – I just trusted the [script],” she says with a laugh.

The Les Misérables star says that Robert De Niro is an "easy guy to get along with." Photo: © Getty Images

But for Anne, 32, the casting was just the icing on the cake. The movie also gave her the chance to play a layered character (a working wife and mom struggling to balance it all – with a little help from her senior intern), collaborate with one of Hollywood’s most box-office friendly directors, Nancy Meyers (The Holiday, Something’s Gotta Give) and even embrace a less stressful moviemaking experience. At a press conference for the film, she spoke about her memorable gig, and just some of the things she learned from The Intern.

ON WORKING WITH HER VETERAN CO-STAR

“Rob’s good at having chemistry with people, so I assumed that as long as I didn’t mess it up, we’d be OK. [ Laughs] He’s an easy guy to get along with, incredibly Zen and calm and approachable.”

ON DIRECTOR NANCY MEYERS

“So you look at Nancy, and you see this tiny, adorable woman with awesome hair. [ Laughs] But I had no idea what a tenacious, uncompromising, inexhaustible powerhouse she is. I’m so lucky that I got to work with her! … She is the funniest person I’ve ever met. I think she’s probably the smartest person in any room she’s ever been in!”

ON HERSELF

“I can’t explain if it was my character, the dynamic or just being around Rob’s Zen, but until now I have made a lot of my movies in a place of insecurities and self-doubt. And I just decided to make one in a more positive place and to embrace the unknown and not necessarily assume that if I didn’t have a clear idea about how things should go that it would be bad, but trust that the unknown could be good... I’m really proud of the work we did. It turns out you can make a movie without having nonstop sleepless nights!”

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