Anne Hathaway is one of the hottest young actresses in Hollywood. Unlike many of her peers, this 24-year-old is not known for bad girl behavior and tabloid fodder. Gayle talks to Anne about keeping classy in the public eye and the inspirational young fan who changed her life.
Keeping her private life out of the spotlight and conducting herself with dignity and class is a role Anne says she has grown into over the past few years. "When I used to go out in public, my behavior was controlled by fear," Anne says of her teenage years as a new actress. "I was so afraid of doing something wrong. Nowadays, I've gotten past that and [my behavior] is controlled by pride. I want to be a person I can respect."
As the teen star of tiara movies, Anne played royalty in the movies Ella Enchanted and The Princess Diaries. Recently, she has garnered accolades for her roles in Brokeback Mountain and The Devil Wears Prada. However, according to Anne, there was a time when wasn't sure where her career was going, and she wasn't very happy.
It was during that time, about two years ago, that Anne toured St. Jude Children's Research Hospital and met a teenage patient named Ronell. Ronell traveled from Trinidad to the United States for cancer treatment and recently had a leg amputated. Anne says meeting Ronell changed her life. "I met Ronell—who is stunningly gorgeous—[and] she says, 'Oh my gosh! There is the princess!'" Anne says she passed the complement off, joking to her, "I am only a princess 9 to 5, Monday through Friday." But Anne says Ronell looked at her sincerely and said, "Oh no, every girl is a princess."
The comment clicked and Anne says she suddenly realized how important her princess movies are to many of her fans, especially Ronell. From then on, Anne and Ronell became friends. Anne says she learned Ronell's story of suffering and sickness, and started to see her own life in a different light. "The more she told me about her life and her story, the more I realized how much I had to learn as a human being and how this person is truly the greatest role model I could have in my life," Anne says.
While Ronell's diagnosis is not good, she is staying positive and hoping for a miracle, while continuing to inspire Anne and likely many others. "I met this girl, and she was the most positive person I have met in my life," Anne says. "I think this girl is amazing."
Printed from Oprah.com on Wednesday, December 11, 2013