'It doesn't come naturally...there were tears': Anne Hathaway on her dreaded return to a British accent

Katie Archer

It’s been eight years since Anne Hathaway was panned for her British accent in One Day, but the horror of the experience clearly hasn’t worn off yet.

The Hollywood star made a return to her most dreaded accent for new comedy The Hustle and said that she had been reduced to tears over how tough she found it, but that comedian Chris Addison, who directs the film, had talked her into it.

Read more: Anne Hathaway had one week to prepare for British accent

One Day saw Hathaway struggle with her character from Leeds, but this time she goes for a more upper-class tone and admitted that she got through it by trying to make it sound fake.

Christine Lampard asked the actress on the Lorraine show: “This film sees the return of your very eloquent British accent – does it come naturally to you?”

Hathaway laughed: “I try not to have too many feelings about a British accent. No, it doesn’t come naturally, it was a lot of sweat, and I’m not going to lie, a few tears.

Read more: Anne Hathaway jokes about infamous Oscars hosting gig

“I didn’t actually want to do it, but the director kept telling me it would be funnier with it, so I decided that my character wasn’t necessarily British, but that she had conned enough money out of men that she could live on the side of a cliff and talk however she wanted.

“So she speaks in a British accent, so that worked for me.”

Addison, best known for his stand-up work and panel show appearances, impressed Hathaway and her co-star Rebel Wilson with his powers of persuasion.

She said: “He really knew what he wanted and was good at getting it – case in point, I speak in a British accent in this film and I really didn’t want to.”

Hathaway added that she thought he was hilarious, too: “There’s one scene where an oyster falls down my dress and I said, ‘Am I going to have shellfish falling down me all day?’ They said, ‘No, don’t worry we have a stunt oyster.’

“I said, ‘What’s a stunt oyster?’ and Chris came in with ‘A cockle’.”

Hathaway also spoke about her plans not to drink alcohol for 18 years in order to maximise time with her son, born in 2016.

She said: “I intend for it to be true – I’ve got about 17 and a half years to go.

“I tried really hard not to, but in the end it was just undeniable…Being with him, the time I have with him is really precious and I do leave a lot for work, so I found that my time with him was getting impacted, not necessarily by the drinking because I never went out of control around him.

Read more: See the female-fronted remake of Dirty Rotten Scoundrels

“I hate to say it, when you get a little bit older, the hangovers get really bad, so I had to make a choice and I chose mornings. Isn’t that annoying? I’m really irritated by how well it’s going.”

But she added that she didn’t want to be a lifelong teetotaller: “The plan is, I’m only going to do it for the time it takes to raise a proper, good human being, get him off to college, and then move to a vineyard. And spend the back half of my life completely sloshed, sun-drenched, happy, that’s the plan.”