A recent article in Interview magazine reveals Anne Hathaway as a self-identified Ayn Rand fan, joining the ranks of Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Sandra Bullock, and Eva Mendes .
"When I began Atlas Shrugged, I was really excited, because Ayn Rand said that The Fountainhead was the overture to Atlas Shrugged. I was like, "Ooh! What am I getting into?" Whether or not you agree with Ayn Rand-- and I have certain issues with some of her beliefs-- the woman can tell a story. I mean, the novel as an art form is just in full florid bloom in Atlas Shrugged. It's an unbelievable story. The characters are so compelling, and what she's saying is mind-expanding. I really enjoyed that book, and it was kind of prophetic. I read that book for the first time during the Bush Administration and I was like, 'People are governing with their feelings as opposed to their intellect. This is happening.' And she wrote this how many years ago?"
Joshua Lipina highlighted the Hathaway connection, but the sleeper cell in the article could be interviewer and comedienne Chelsea Handler, who is quite articulate about the systematic nature of Ayn Rand's ideas. The Chelsea Lately host says:
[...] "I think a book like The Fountainhead or Atlas Shrugged is kind of a way to look at leading your life with your professionalism permeated by your value system and your moral rectitude. You're able to kind of see everything as one whole thing rather than kind of compartmentalizing different things in your life, and being morally bound to your personal life and not your professional life or vice-versa."
Some celebrities have come into criticism for professing a love of Rand's ideas while leading political lives that suggest otherwise (a commenter on The Atlas Society's Facebook page pointed out that Hathaway appeared at an Obama fundraiser this summer). But in political agreement or not, Atlas Shrugged continues to be a source of personal inspiration for successful artists and entertainers. And the casual conversation about Atlas Shrugged between Hathaway and Handler indicates the constantly rising visibility of Ayn Rand and her works .
Anne Hathaway made her breakthrough in movies such as The Devil Wears Prada and expanded her range in movies like Rachel Getting Married, for which she was nominated Best Actress at the Academy Awards. I previously wrote Feminist Heroine? Dagny Taggart vs. Catwoman about Hathaway's character in The Dark Knight Rises. Interestingly, Hathaway plays the role of Fantine in the upcoming Les Misérables movie . The author of Les Misérables, Victor Hugo, was a favorite of Ayn Rand's because the themes of his stories were "man's loyalty to values." In The Art of Fiction, Rand says Hugo "is the writer nearest to creating the kind of people and events I would like to observe or live with."
Photography by Marcus Piggot and Mert Alas in Interview Magazine.
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