Anne Hathaway talks politics at DNC
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Celebrities are getting serious at the Democratic convention.
Sure, there are parties aplenty. But a contingent of Hollywood types under the Creative Coalition banner are gathering for sober-minded luncheons and forums to discuss issues facing the Democratic Party and the country.
At one such event, Danny Strong, an actor-screenwriter who is keeping a video diary of the DNC for the Associated Press, spoke with actress Anne Hathaway about what brought her to Denver.
Associated Press: What issues are you most passionate about?
Anne Hathaway: "That's a good question, and it should be a simple one. But right now I feel like there's so many aspects of our great nation which could use a little bit of help, or a lotta bit of help, that it's hard to pick just one. I think the most important thing is the economy. We need to figure out the housing crisis. We need to build up our middle class again. Right now, the disparity between the uber-rich and the uber-poor, it's worrying and it's not getting better. We need to focus on a way to just get our economy back, to get it back on track.
"Obviously the war is a very important issue to me. We need to get our troops home, and we need to get them home now. My own personal feelings about it is when the world is kind of perfect, and we have those two things -- when we're at peace and everybody has a good job -- although we should be working on these at the same time, I don't mean to imply otherwise, I'm really a big advocate for health care and of course my heart lies with education."
AP: What inspires you about Obama?
Hathaway: "I was kind of afraid of Obama the first time I saw him. I thought, I've been burned by guys like you before. I've been burned by politicians before that I wanted to believe in and just didn't live up to it. And I was afraid to trust him and I was afraid to have hope when I first kind of became aware of him. It was around the time that he gave his speech on race that I just said 'I can't deny how I feel about you, Barack Obama. I want you to be the president. I want you in the White House.'
"I think that not only can Barack cause change -- because that's where his heart lies -- as a true American success story, he understands how hard it is. And when he says that he will, when people come to him with problems, he's been there. I just heard the other day, he just paid off his student loans two years ago. And so when people talk about financial issues and the higher cost of education, he really gets it. So not only do I think he has the power, the temperment and the tremendous character that can cause change in the government, I think he's the sort of person that inspires us all to be our best selves.
"He inspires us to be the best Americans we can be. And I think if he's president -- when he's president, I should say -- we're going to find people changing on the inside. And once we all have hope for the future, I think you're going to find everyone's going to wake up and take control of this amazing moment where there's so many things that need help, and people will all be inspired to help."
AP: Do you think that the entertainment industry has a positive or negative effect on politics?
Hathaway: "I think the entertainment industry has all good intentions when we try to come out. The thing that is unfortunate is that some of us who are maybe a little recognizable, we've got to come out as private citizens and support our country in any way that we can. ...
"There's a media spin on it that we're all out of touch. How could we possibly have an awareness of what real Americans feel and think and need because we just ride around in limos and -- I don't know -- buy diamonds all day long? That's kind of the perception. But I don't know anyone like that. I'm certainly not like that. I'm a passionate American, and that's what I am first and foremost."