Anne Hathaway, newly-named Academy Award winning actress, eyes next musical role

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Anne Hathaway won Best Supporting Actress for her role as Fantine in Les Miserables.

If the Oscar-winning films Chicago, Dreamgirls, and now Les Misérables have taught us anything in recent years, it’s that the movie musical is not only back—it’s better than ever. All you have to do is watch Academy Award winner Anne Hathaway sing “I Dreamed a Dream” to experience the raw power and mesmerizing depth that film actors can bring to iconic roles like Fantine.

And speaking of Anne Hathaway…..wouldn’t it be “loverly” to see her continue down the musical path?

She thinks so too.

Although Anne denies ever wanting to pursue a recording career (despite her epic turn as Fantine, the doomed mother turned prostitute, a musical performance that could easily stand on its own in the scope of her career), she has her sights set on another famous female in the musical canon: Eliza Doolittle.

Rumors of My Fair Lady being turned into a film began percolating several years ago when Carey Mulligan was rumored to play the part. Mulligan’s name is still attached to the project on IMDB.com. However, like the much-buzzed-about Wicked film, release dates continue getting pushed back and production has been put on hold before it can even begin.

But that hasn’t stopped Hathaway from voicing her desire to play Eliza.

According to a report by The Daily Mail, Hathaway would be honored to play the part either on stage or on the big screen. “Either would be a treat,” Hathaway says. Should she end up going the way of the stage, she has several options as to whom she could work with and where. She could join Dominic West (Chicago, The Wire, BBC’s The Hour) in the Sheffield Theatre Company’s currently-running revival in London or she could work alongside Colin Firth in a revival on Broadway. That is, if producer Clive Davis has his way.

And then of course there’s the man with the golden touch, Cameron Mackintosh, who is not only bringing Les Misérables back to Broadway in 2014 but is also hoping to turn My Fair Lady into a West End production as well as a feature film. Could Hathaway’s success in Mackintosh’s Les Mis make her a shoe-in for either of his My Fair Lady prospects? Perhaps. But Hathaway fans won’t have to wait for that decision to be made before hearing her sing again.

Anne is slated to produce and star in a film later this year called Song One that will also feature her vocals in a song written specifically for her. She will sing and act alongside British actor/musician Johnny Flynn with original songs from Jenny Lewis and Jonathan Rice. Clearly she doesn’t plan on getting rid of the singing bug any time soon.

And why should she? After taking home the Oscar last night, it only makes sense for her to continue capitalizing her vocals. Let’s be honest that if Amanda Seyfried can do it with both Mamma Mia and Les Mis (quaking vibrato and all) then Hathaway definitely can too.

Colin Firth as Henry Higgins is also an interesting possibility. The role, originated by Rex Harrison in the 1956 Broadway production, is known to be almost entirely talk-sung, a feat that Firth could certainly tackle after conquering The King’s Speech and starring alongside Seyfried in Mamma Mia (a role that required actual singing). And with Hathaway’s previous experience as the princess of Genovia, her devolution to the bottom of the British social ladder would undoubtedly make for hilarious and fascinating musical drama.

And let’s not forget Hathaway’s Genovian grandmother—Julie Andrews—who could certainly offer a few tips on playing the role of Eliza since she originated it on Broadway and went on to be nominated for a Tony Award for her performance. (Now how’s that for a royal inheritance?)

It is safe to say that Hathaway’s ambition to incorporate her love for singing into her work is no longer a dream—it is a firm and rapidly growing reality. As viewers, we are lucky to have had the chance to see her sing even once on the big screen. Watching her again last night was also a real treat. But getting to see her sing post-Les Mis a third time—well, that almost seems too good to be true.

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2 Responses

  1. Anytime Anne Hathaway wants to sing, just let her sing. Looking forward to hearing it again.

  2. This is exciting! I had no idea My Fair Lady was in the works for a revival on the West End.