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For Anne Hathaway, going 5 years without booze is a bigger milestone than ‘middle age’

Nardine Saad – Los Angeles Times (TNS)

Anne Hathaway has been sober for more than five years, making good on a promise to stay dry while parenting her young sons. To her, consciously staying sharp for that long is a bigger deal than hitting a certain birthday.

“The Princess Diaries” and “The Devil Wears Prada” alum, who stars in Prime Video’s adaptation of Robinne Lee’s 2017 romance novel “The Idea of You,” touched on her sobriety when discussing middle age, an arbitrary milestone she says she doesn’t take that seriously.

“There are so many other things that I identify as milestones. I don’t normally talk about it, but I am over five years sober,” she said this week on “The Interview” podcast from the New York Times. “That feels like a milestone to me.”

“Forty feels like a gift. The fact of the matter is I hesitate at calling things ‘middle age’ simply because I can be a little bit of a semantic stickler and I could get hit by a car later today — I really hope that doesn’t happen — [but] we don’t know if this is middle age. We don’t know anything,” Hathaway said.

Hathaway, who turned 41 in November, reflected on her early career and the so-called Hatha-hate she had to contend with after winning an Oscar for “Les Misérables” in 2013 — years after beloved roles in rom-coms and more serious turns in “Brokeback Mountain” and “The Dark Knight Rises.”

“As a formerly chronically stressed young woman, I just remember thinking one day, ‘You are taking this for granted. You are taking your life for granted. You have no idea. Something could fall through the sky and that would be lights out for you.’ So when I find the old instincts rising, I just tell myself, you are not going to die stressed,” she said.

The former teen star said that when she was younger, she “didn’t know how to breathe yet” and was “very in my head about a lot of things.” A self-dubbed former people pleaser from New Jersey, she said she “probably” drank as a way to deal with not feeling comfortable in her own body.

“It feels a little too exposed to discuss the ‘alienation I felt from my body,’ but there was a lot of somatic stress there,” she said.

The mother of two, who welcomed her second son in 2019, wouldn’t go too deep into the specifics about what changed her from a stressed-out person to who she is now, noting that she likes “to keep my personal things personal,” but she did slightly tease to the inflection point in the interview.

“I was just stuck in this feeling. It’s that thing about, ‘I want to achieve things, I want to grow,’ and you think, mistakenly, that the way you do that is to be really hard on yourself,” she said, then noted that people drive themselves with self-criticism.

“[T]here was a moment in which I realized that in order to keep that narrative alive, I was going to have to deny so much. I just said: You’re just going to have to accept that if nothing else happens to you, you’ve had a really great life. You have been given gifts and opportunities. And for you to continue to walk on this path, not being grateful, I don’t think that’s really who you are. It felt like a light went on.”

During a January 2019 appearance on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” the film star revealed that it had been several months since she’d had a drink.

“I quit drinking back in October,” Hathaway told DeGeneres. “For 18 years. I’m going to stop drinking while my son’s living in my house because I don’t totally love the way I do it and he’s getting to the age where he really needs me all the time in the morning.”

She later clarified that drinking wasn’t the issue, it was the hangover.

“I didn’t put [a drink] down because my drinking was a problem,” she told Modern Luxury in April 2019. “I put it down because the way I drink leads me to have hangovers and those were the problem. My last hangover lasted for five days.”

“When I’m at a stage in my life where there is enough space for me to have a hangover, I’ll start drinking again, but that won’t be until my kid is out of the house,” she said.

In a Vanity Fair profile last month, Hathaway spoke about having an existential overhaul over the last five years or so, sharing again that that’s when she gave up alcohol and described it as “wallowing fuel.”

“This is the first time I’ve known myself this well,” she told the magazine. “I don’t live in what others think of me. I know my own mind and I am connected to my own feelings … I’m way quicker to laugh now.”

©2024 Los Angeles Times. Visit latimes.com. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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