At the SAG Awards on Sunday night, Anne Hathaway proved yet again that she is the woman to beat in the Oscar race for Best Supporting Actress, claiming yet another not-quite-Academy Award for her performance in Tom Hooper’s “Les Misérables.” By now, you’ve read and heard all about that performance -- the 35 pounds she lost, the hair she cut mere months before her wedding, the singing she did live, on a freezing, stinking set, instead of overdubbing it in the safety of a recording studio. So we decided to ask her about more urgent matters –- like that joke Tina Fey made at her expense during the Golden Globes and the pros and cons of wearing white around Valentino (who, we might add, designed her wedding dress).
The Huffington Post: Our Oscar Predictions Dashboard gives you a 99.2% chance of winning Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars. Are you nervous anyway, or are you feeling cool and collected?
Anne Hathaway: Is there a third option? Because I am just very grateful. I’ve had plenty of years in my career where I haven’t made it to this part of the conversation. Making it here is the gift and the goal, and I feel really proud of that.
What’s one thing people who haven’t experienced Oscar season first-hand don’t realize about it?
I don't actually know what people don't know, but what I think people lose sight of is how vulnerable everyone feels. It's very easy to look at people in these gorgeous dresses that cost more than a college education and diamonds and hairdos and forget that everyone is probably shaking in their stilettos.
How many award shows will you have attended by the time you get to the Oscars?
I’m not sure, but at least half a dozen.
And how many times will Hugh Jackman have forced you to sing at various events?
I am starting to lose count. He is so good at that. He is so charming and persuasive that he makes me forget that YouTube and the Internet actually exist.
Did Tina Fey warn you that she was going to going to send that zinger your way at the Golden Globes?
No, she didn’t. I actually appreciated it. There was a part of me that thought, “Oh, I can go home with something special now.”
It is a little bit of an honor to be singled out, isn’t it?
I have never been made fun of at one of these things before. I have never been a punch line. It is actually an honor. It’s a thrill.
I read that you warned Claire Danes before impersonating her “Homeland” character on Saturday Night Live. Did you happen to run into her at The Golden Globes?
I did. I had just finished my press and she was backstage after she had won, and I was just so gob-smacked at how great she looked. I mean, she had just given birth about three seconds ago. And she was absolutely smoking. [Pause.] Like hot -- not like that! Clear that up: Claire Danes is not a neglectful mother.
So do you have any advice for Seth MacFarlane, drawing on your experience as an Oscar host?
Don’t take my advice. Call Hugh. And get Emma Stone to co-host with you. You two were adorable at the announcements.
How does your fashion approach differ between the Globes and the Oscars?
Practically speaking, there is more room to have a train at the Oscars. At the Globes, because of the layout, with everybody sitting together, I learned the hard way that you must never wear a train. You will either be tripped on, or tripped up or tripping yourself up all night. I wore a train the first time I was nominated, and first of all it just scooped up all of the red carpet. And second of all I was just a death trap for anybody that came near me. With the Oscars, you have a little more room.
And I guess at the Globes you want to wear something where it wouldn’t be too problematic if somebody were to spill a glass of red wine on you.
Well, that happened to me, but not at the Globes. That happened to me at a premiere for Valentino’s movie, and he and a producer friend of mine, Jeffrey Sharp, actually spilled an entire vat of red wine all over me. And I was wearing a white dress.
What do you do in that situation?
You just laugh and smile. I tried to get Valentino to autograph the dress, but he wouldn’t do it. It actually wound up looking really pretty –- it was like an ombre effect. And I couldn’t really get that mad, because it was not even my dress.
Over the past 10 years, two actresses have won Best Supporting Actress for their performances in musicals. One was Jennifer Hudson for “Dreamgirls,” and the other was Catherine Zeta-Jones for “Chicago,” in 2003. Where were you on Oscar night in 2003?
I think I was in the Josselyn common room at Vassar.
Watching it on TV?
Well, I missed the first part because I had a cappella practice. I remember being very confused, because we had just gone to war with Iraq and there was a lot of talk about “Should they cancel it? What should we do?” And I thought Nicole Kidman gave the most beautiful, thoughtful response to that when she said, "I am so happy to be here tonight, because art is important.” I was just very grateful to her for that little rally cry.
This story appears in the special Oscar issue of our weekly iPad magazine, Huffington, in the iTunes App store, available Friday, Feb. 8.