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The comedy film follows two women (Hathaway and Rebel Wilson) who seek revenge against men who have tricked them in the past. The Hustle is a remake of the 1964 film Bedtime Story and 1988 film Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.
Hathaway speaks with a British accent in the film, though she revealed that she was originally against the idea.
“Against my will, my character is British,” she said. “I didn’t want to do it. I just thought, ‘God, if I mess this up it could be such a face plant.'”
She added that director Chris Addison “insisted” that she speak with the accent. “I had an amazing dialect coach and I’m really happy because for the first time — [in my] 20-year career — I’ve gotten compliments from the British press on my British accent,” she said. “I’m so relieved.”
“When the director asked me to play this character British, one of the reasons why I didn’t want to do it was I just thought this could be exhausting for everybody. Everybody knows I’m not British and it’s like, ‘Oh, Anne Hathaway doing a British accent,'” she said before she grunted. “I didn’t want to put myself or you through that.”
Hathaway also shared the inspiration behind her character’s accent. “I thought, ‘OK, maybe my character isn’t necessarily British,'” she said. “She’s a con woman. Maybe she’s just decided that she’s British and she sounds British. So I thought, ‘What would be her main influences.’ I really love Joanna Lumley from Absolutely Fabulous and it would’ve been such a shame not to put a little Julie Andrews in there, so I put a little Julie Andrews in there. But mainly it was Stewie from Family Guy.”
In addition to the British accent, Hathaway also spoke with German, French and Australian accents in the film. When asked how her Australian co-star Wilson coached her through the accent, Hathaway admitted, “I was just trying to offend her.” She explained, “My character’s so mad at her in that scene, I just wanted it to be just as broad and harsh, so I do owe an apology to greater Australia for the way I did it.”
Hathaway later reflected on working with Wilson, whom she described as a “dream” scene partner. “I think you look at the two of us, and I’ve made comedies, but I’m not necessarily known for being funny, and Rebel is definitely known for being funny,” she said. “I think a lot of people would’ve looked at the two of us and said, ‘OK, Rebel’s the funny one and Annie can be the straight person.'”
“I went to Rebel and said, ‘I don’t really want to do that. I know I can do this. I know I can be funny,'” she continued. “And she was just like, ‘You’re right. You can be and we’re gonna figure out how our two styles work together so that we’re both funny and we’re both setting each other up.’ She was an amazing partner in that.”
Watch Hathaway’s full appearance below.
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