How Anne Hathaway Delivered a Full Nervous Breakdown in She Came to Me

Anne Hathaway, similar to her character Patricia in Rebecca Miller’s “She Came to Me,” has dealt with being a perfectionist.

“I think perhaps in the earlier part of my life, I believed a little bit more in perfectionism,” Hathaway told Variety at the New York screening of “She Came to Me” on Tuesday night. “[Patricia] thinks that if she can just do everything right, she’ll protect the people who she loves from having bad things happen to them.”

Set in New York, the rom-com follows composer Steven Lauddem (Peter Dinklage), who is creatively blocked just weeks before the deadline for his latest commission. At the urging of his wife and former therapist Patricia (Hathaway), he searches for inspiration and finds it in Katrina (Marisa Tomei), a thrill-seeking tugboat captain.

Hathaway and director-writer Miller discussed bringing nuance to Patricia, a seemingly put-together, type A wife and mother on the verge of mental collapse.

“I think that it’s really tempting when you’re playing someone a little heightened to go a little big with it, but we talked about how [Patricia] needed to feel real, about how we needed to ground her and how she just had to feel believable,” Hathaway explained. “My character has a bit of a — well, a nervous breakdown — and so I knew I wanted that to feel earned. You wanted her to have this breakdown because if she didn’t, you thought maybe she would physically explode.”

“She’s somebody who’s neglected herself a little bit and has a secret desire that is unusual in her, let’s just say,” said Miller.

“She Came to Me” was granted a SAG-AFTRA interim agreement, which allowed the cast to attend the New York screening to promote the film. In order to obtain an interim agreement, a producer must operate independently from companies belonging to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and agree to terms proposed by SAG-AFTRA in its negotiations with the AMPTP.

Alongside Hathaway, “She Came to Me” stars Marisa Tomei, Peter Dinklage, Brian d’Arcy James, Harlow Jane, Evan Ellison and Dale Soules attended the New York screening at the Metrograph.

“Even very small, small companies are able to agree to [SAG-AFTRA’s terms], so really, really proves that big companies can do the same,” Tomei told Variety. “It’s a very important time in our union and in our profession, and we’re going to hold the line until we get what we need.”

Before the “She Came to Me” screening began, Rebecca Damon, executive director of SAG-AFTRA’s New York local, spoke to the audience.

“It is so exciting to be here tonight to see this launch of this first interim agreement while we are on strike,” Damon told the crowd. “This production is an example of them doing everything right. They are respecting the performers and showing what they’ve asked for in our strategy — this crucial strategy — is this fair deal, and they have given it to these performers.”

Damon concluded her speech by stating, “Not only are you getting to support beautiful, artistic independent film, but you are also at the same time supporting our strike by supporting this movie.”

“She Came to Me” premieres in theaters Oct. 6.

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